Friday, February 29, 2008

Singapore Adventure: The Great Singapore...

Terrorist Hunt?!

As the whole world now knows, a notorious terrorist has gone fugitive from Singapore authorities last 27th February. Though it is a common headline in the Philippines to have criminals escaping from prison, it is somehow disappointing that something like this happened here in Singapore.

It is a fact that Singapore is famous for it's people's utmost discipline and its strict regulations that when defied results to heavy penalties. Singapore is a "fine" city, remember? :D

Well, the entire Singapore is looking out to nab this fugitive Mas Selamat Kastari, and hopefully he'll soon fall into the hands of the authorities, and please, may he never slip away from their hands again.

In the meantime, Mas Selamat Kastari's face is splashed all over Singapore. No doubt he will be captured in no time.

This is the poster put up in public installations all over Singapore. I shot this photo this morning at the Marsiling MRT station.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Singapore Adventure: Kayang-kaya Kaya? (Update 3)

The polls are open for the Kayang-Kaya Kaya Challenge for February. Vote for you favorite layout over at the Pinoyscrapbookers Challenge Blog.
I have two LOs entered into the challenge. The first one is Refreshing. The second one is I Could Not Ask For More. Do also check out the other beautiful entries.

Singapore Adventure: Sluggish

I feel so sluggish this past few days. It seems that I have not fully recovered from the tiring excitements of last weekend. So can you blame me if I have started to do the "Counting Down to the Weekend" today? Hehehe...
As I have announced in my Friday blog entry, the Cookies did go to see the Singapore Airshow last Saturday. It was a look cab ride from our place to the Changi Exhibition Centre. Aside from the distance, traffic was also terrible. Well, what do you expect when all cars are rushing to just one place, and there's only one way in and out of that place.
Anyways, it was a great experience. Seeing planes diving and dancing around in the sky. It was a bit cloudy, but cloudy is better than rainy, right? ^_^ I tried so hard to get some nice pictures to post here. Well, my efforts did, quite paid off as our camera isn't that high-tech to do some long range shooting. But it was fun hearing the synchronized clicking of the big cameras around.
I'll try to post the pictures soon. (Note to self)
After the Cookies' first airshow experience, we went to my Cookie's colleague's despedida in Geylang. Yeah, Geylang. First time to be in that area, too. Hehehe...
We had some pizza, pasta and salad. And lots of singing! ^_^ It was lots of fun, and so we left the place late already.
Next day, Sunday, was my appointment with the dentist. I finally got my mouthguard/nite guard. Started wearing it since Sunday evening. One day of the weekend is supposed to be housechores day, and so I pushed myself to lift the broom and sweep up a bit. But the call of the bed was too strong. We really had to catch up on some sleep, but even the 2-hour siesta seem to have failed to do the trick.
And the sleepyheads that we are, we just couldn't get enough of sleep. Can hardly wait for the weekend!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Singapore Adventure: Hurray for Tilda Swinton

Where did I first see Tilda Swinton? In Constantine where she played the role of the Archangel Gabriel. And I totally fell in love with her performance.

After that, I saw her in The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, where she convincingly played the role of the evil snow queen/witch Jada.

And now she's named winner of the 2008 Oscars Best Supporting Actress title. Wow! I think I must find a way to see her performance in that Michael Clayton movie.

I also learned that the Sweeney Todd movie also bagged an award for Best Art Direction. Too bad, Johnny Depp has still yet to win one of those statuettes in the Best Actor in a Leading Role race.

It's a dark, dark movie. But what do you expect with a Tim Burton-Johnny Depp collaboration? It is very interesting, though. With the singing, dancing, and bloody neck slashing. Bwahahaha!!!

Better luck next time, J.D.! I will always root for you!

Congratulations to the winners!

Tonight, I hope to catch the Oscars Night rerun on MediaCorp 5.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Singapore Adventure: What's Up On The Weekend?

Do you recognize this logo? ^_^ The Cookies are coming down to see it! Yey!

My Cookie already purchased our tickets. We are going to tomorrow's show. I'm so excited. It's my first time to go see something like this. I'll post pictures so you can have a peak of our weekend.
It's just sad we didn't have time to go sunglasses shopping. Hehehe...

Also, I was told this event occurs only every two years. And so we are in luck!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Greetings: Congratulations and Best Wishes, Neus and Astrid


Photos: AFM Sison-Caragay
Digital Kit: Retrodiva No Room For Grey Paper and Elements
Fonts: Scriptina, Stuyvesant BT

Monday, February 18, 2008

Singapore Adventure: What's for Dinner?

This is what I prepared for dinner? Sautéed Bean Sprouts with Bean Curd.

It's my Mama's recipe. I hope my Cookie likes it. ^_^

I also prepared some meatballs as a backup just in case the bean sprouts or the bean curd doesn't grow on my Cookie. Hehehe...

My Cookie's here. Time for dinner! ;)

Singapore Adventure: TMJ

I had to skip work today, as I am having some terrible pain in my right jaw. It started yesterday afternoon. I was hoping the pain will go away this morning, but still the pain was there. It bothered me greatly as I have had the clicking sound in my right jaw for years but it is only recently that I am feeling some pain.

I went to see the dentist at the Sunshine Smile Dental Implant Centre near to our block.

After giving him my symptoms, he said it was Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder. The dentist was really helpful in making me understand what my condition is. It is primarily caused by my teeth-grinding when I sleep. It stressed out the muscle and joint in my right jaw, wearing it out. He explained that younger people had more flexible muscles, but it tightens as we grow older. That's why even if I have been experiencing the clicking sound in my right jaw long ago, it is only now that I have pain.

He prescribed that I should wear a mouth guard when I go to bed. I was fitted for it and the clinic will have it ready by Friday. He says this should lessen my teeth-grinding and avoid my TMJ from worsening. He also gave me some tablets to take - a pain killer and an antibiotic. The pain is basically caused by the inflammation of the muscles in my right jaw.

But what causes teeth-grinding anyways? It is stress. After learning of my profession, the dentist had no doubts why I could have it. So, I was thinking, when I get my mouth guard, I'd probably drop by the medical clinic near our block and ask if the doctor can prescribe me any stress-alleviation drug.
I shelled out 500+ SGD for the mouth guard and medication which my Dental Card does not cover. Obviously, this bothers me greatly and so I am taking action.

Here is a link on TMJ FAQs. Just in case you are curious what it really is about.

Singapore Adventure: Kayang-kaya Kaya? (Update 2)

I've finally sent my entry to the Pinoyscrapbooker's Challenge Blog. Visit it through this link.

I am so excited to see how the other scrapbookers find my LO. ^_^ Do visit the Pinoyscrapbooker's Challenge Blog to see other LOs from the other PS members as well. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Singapore Adventure: Kayang-kaya Kaya? (Update 1)

As promised in my previous post, here is LO number 2 using Danielle Young's Springtime Feeling Kit care of the Pinoyscrapbooker's Challenge blog. It's entitled Refreshing. Well, as you can see, the photos here depict me and my Cookie enjoying fruit shakes along Orchard Road during our Pre-Valentine's Day date. ^_^

I tried several new techniques with this LO. I finally figured how the drop shadow 3D effect works as well as the paper curling and background erase features of Corel Paintshop Pro X. COOL!!! There's still the first techniques I have learned - cropping and layering.

I am still trying to psyche myself into entering this and the other LO into the Pinoyscrapbooker's Challenge. I don't know if it is worthy enough to be posted on the challenge blog's site. Hmmmm... I'll continue pondering on this. After all, I still have a week 'til last submission date.

Singapore Adventure: Kayang-kaya Kaya?

I made this LO yesterday while killing time on a boring Saturday afternoon. Well, my Cookie had to work from home so leaving the house is not among the choices on how to spend the weekend.

The digital kit I used is from the Pinoyscrapbooker's Kaya 10 Challenge. The photos were taken on Valentine's evening at the dining room of our home in Woodlands, Singapore, right after dinner. I did this layout in Corel Paintshop Pro X. I am trying (really hard) to get accustomed to this new photo/layout editing software. There are still a lot of other nice features and techniques that I have yet to learn. And for this specifc LO, the techniques I applied were photo cropping for the small photos and the big center photo, and layering for the paper and other elements.

I am still thinking if my LO is worth entering into the challenge. Hmmmm... I still have some time to ponder on this. In the meantime, I'll try to cook up another LO using the Springtime Feeling Kit by Danielle Young.
Creative juices should starting flowing anytime now... Keeping my fingers crossed....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Singapore Adventure: Cookie Valentines

My Cookie knows how to flatter his girl. For the two years that we have been together, he always made every special Cookie day even more special with flowers.

Well, this Valentine's, since we're already here in SG where there is a more practical use for every dollar we earn, I didn't expect to receive flowers. But to my surprise, I still did, and they were lovely! ^_^

The beautiful bunch of 6 white roses and 6 pink roses now sits prettily on my desk at work. I hope it stays fresh for a long, long, LONG time. ^_^

- o0o -

So, how did the Cookies spend Valentine's Day 2008? Just a fun dinner at home, enjoying our most favorite food in the world - pasta! I prepared Tuna Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce and a side dish of Buttered Garlic Potatoes.

It's my first time to prepare spaghetti with tuna instead of ground pork and I am pleased with the outcome. Maybe I should cook more of this as this is the healthier alternative over ground pork. But somehow, it just isn't SPAGHETTI unless it's with meat sauce. Hehehehe...

To cap off the night, we had a little pictorial. Something we haven't done for quite a while already.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Singapore Adventure: Unpacked

Since we have moved to the new house, which is already 3 months ago since 03 February, some of my things have remained packed in boxes. Well, I didn't see any purpose in unpacking when I really have no use for the items from the boxes. They might as well just be kept inside the boxes and away from dust or sunlight, right? But then, since there really isn't anything to do during the 4-day CNY holiday, I just went ahead and unpacked them.

Now, my books are neatly piled in the built-in bookshelves of the common room. Well, I don't have a lot. I didn't bring all of my books, just my favorite ones, and those that I have not yet read.

My favorite ones would include the "gift books" (very useful when I do journalling for my scrap pages and post cards), the Bob Ong books (extremely entertaining except for two - Bakit Baligtad and Alamat ng Gubat), the Mitch Albom books (tear jerkers), and my recent favorite, Adeline Yen Mah's Chinese Cinderella (truly heartwarming). There are also a couple of books which I brought along from home or bought here that I have not read yet such as Mitch Albom's For One More Day (bought here at Times), Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Of Love and Other Demons (bought from Philippines in August 2007), Paulo Coelho's The Zahir (birthday 2006 gift from college bud Khends) and The Devil and Miss Prym (Christmas 2007 gift from my cousin Rose).

Sigh, I hope this year I can finally push myself to read again. Maybe piling my books in the shelf will provide the motivation. ^_^

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Singapore Adventure: Red Packets

In the Philippines, every Chinese New Year, my Pinoy friends often comeup to me and ask for tikoy and ang pao. It seems like it's the samething anywhere else in Asia, well, at least in Singapore. :P

But this time, since I am in (almost) Chinese territory, it is my turn to ask for ang paos (红包). Fortunately, this wish has been granted. My boss gave out red packets this afternoon. And the bosses from other teams as well. Nice. ^_^

Fred says it's enough for lunch money. My Cookie says it's enough forone top-up card. I am still thinking how I want to spend it. In themeantime, it will be sitting at home on my dresser. ^_^

Suggestions are welcome.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Singapore Adventure: The Vendo

The vending machine at our office pantry now sells Oishi's Pillows. Itsells at 70 cents a piece. Quiet pricey, as it is sold only at lessthan 10 bucks in the Philippines. I guess the people here at work tooka liking for it as it has been a few times that the stock for Pillows inthe vendo was replenished.

A couple of weeks back, I was told that the vendo also had a slot forOishi's Bread Pan. And I think last week, I saw Jack n Jill Roller Coaster.

Hmm.. I wonder when they will start selling Nagaraya, Boy Bawang, andChicharon. Wishful thinking. ^_^

Friday, February 8, 2008

Singapore Adventure: Scrapping Again

Since there's still nothing to do on the second day of the new year, I thought of "re-grouping" my scrapping stuff.

Jhing, during her visit to our place last weekend, handed me down some of her scrap gears. Somehow it brought back an urge to scrap again. And this is what I have so far.

These are the first few pages. I am attempting to compile my first year photos here in SG. Hopefully, I can do this more regularly during the weekends. Otherwise, I just might not be able to complete this project in time for the second year photos. :D

I'll post some more pages once I get around putting them together.

Singapore Adventure: First Time

After a looooong day yesterday, my Cookie brought home a nice surprise for me. Hihihi... ^_^
2 pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream! This is the first time for both of us to try this popular ice cream. And it was heavenly. 0:)
We tried this one first - the New York Super Fudge Chunk. Just by the name and you know it's yummy!
What's inside the New York Super Fudge Chunk? Chocolate Ice Cream with White & Dark Fudge Chunks, Pecans, Walnuts & Fudge-Covered Almonds. Hmmmm.... Tasty!
There's still half a pint of this flavour. The other one is Chocolate Fudge Brownie - Chocolate Ice Cream with Fudge Brownies. Hmmm... Sounds equally tasty. Temptation! Will definitely have a go for this one tonight after dinner!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Singapore Adventures: Tonight's Dinner

Broccoli and Carrots in Oyster Sauce

These are the only things in the fridge. At least I have still managed to whip us up something for dinner.

Broccoli florets and stem, carrots, oyster sauce, sugar, water, cornstarch, sesame seed oil, minced garlic and onion, salt and pepper to taste.

Hopefully, the groceries open shop on Saturday. Otherwise, all I can serve through the weekend will be Instant Pancit Canton.

Singapore Adventure: Happy CNY!


~ o 0 o ~

It's my first Chinese New Year in SG. And so far, nothing exciting has happened and it's most likely to remain this way from today to four days later. Well, if you count the cramped groceries and shopping places for the past week as excitement, then disregard my last statement.

Sheesh! How can I be so grumpy, it's the new year after all. Let me count the reasons for you.

1. My Cookie had to work during the holidays. SMACh (Samahang Malungkot Ang Chinese New Year. Corny.) member?

2. Nothing good on local TV. Can't believe I still can't persuade myself to get cable. And so, I am stuck listening to Toni Gonzaga's Falling For You album for two hours now, and counting.

3. No food in the fridge. All the groceries closeby (Carrefour at PS, Fair Price at Marsiling MRT, and Sheng Shiong at Marsiling Point) have closed shop for the holidays since 3 pm yesterday. You can't make me buy at 7-11. Never!!!

These are the top 3. The rest are too insignificant and are just subsets of the above.

Well, inspite of these. The Cookies had a pretty interesting Chinese New Year's Eve. I prepared dinner and we had fun downing it as much as I had fun cooking.

This is my Chicken Sotanghon Soup with Egg. The main event! Hehehe... Noodles are a must on happy occasions, right? ^_^

I've done chicken sotanghon in the past. But this is the first time I've used "achuete." And it sure did the trick of making it look more appetizing. In fairness, it turned out quite deliciously. ^_^

My Mama advised that we should have Misua with Egg for breakfast on New Year's Day. Why? I dunno. It's tradition. So stop asking! :P Since I did not catch any of the groceries open yesterday, we have to pass for Misua. This is my idea of a substitute. Good thing I still have sotanghon tucked away in the cupboards.

Aside from Chicken Sotanghon, we had fried wantons also. Just got them off the frozen goods shelf at FairPrice.

Toyomansi dipping sauce. The best accompaniment to wanton!

And steamed red bean paste buns from Sheng Shiong. The photo at the top of this post.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Singapore Adventure: Next Attraction

Based on the posted recipe, it sounds quite easy to follow. I just hope I can pull it off. And once I have learned to cook it, I can just prepare it from home. ^_^
Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Singapore Adventure: What's Cooking?

What: Beef Nilaga
When: 26 January, Saturday
Notes: It is my first time to cook beef. It took forever to tenderize the meat by boiling but it was all worth it. The "teaspoon technique" worked! Hehehe...
- o0o -
What: Buttered Potatoes Version 1.0
When: 27 January, Sunday

Notes: Fair Price supermarket in Woodgrove had bags of nice new potatoes. And since I miss World Chicken's baked potatoes, I just couldn't resist grabbing a bag. I looked up some new potato recipes for ideas on how to go about satisfying my craving and improvised. This is what I came up with. I boiled the potatoes first then threw them in a hot pan with some butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Yummy!
- o0o -
What: Fried Calamares
When: 2 February, Saturday
Notes: This is my second time to prepare squid. The first time, i just coated the calamares with flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then straight to hot oil for deep frying. This time, with the use of a helpful recipe for Calamares Prito I googled up, I came up with this. I whipped up the batter by combining beaten egg, flour, salt, pepper, finely chopped garlic and onions. Instead of water that has to be added in, I used Sprite. It turned out quite delightful. :)
I had some potatoes lying around in the fridge. I sliced them up, coated them with some of the remaining batter and deep fried them, too. They were better than Shakey's mojos! Hehehe...

- o0o -
What: Barbecued Chicken Lollipops
When: 2 February, Saturday

Notes: I have featured my barbecued chicken sticks on my blog several times. I often serve this to my friends during "cook overs". This time, I served them to some friends who came over for a visit - Jhing and Marc. It is, as expected, a hit! ^_^
Cleaning the pan where I deep fried them was painful, but the compliments from my friends with happy tummies sure made it all worth the trouble.
- o0o -
What: Buttered Potatoes Version 2.0
When: 3 February, Sunday

Notes: Well, like I said, it was a bag of new potatoes. And so, there were still some uncooked pieces left. I opted to go for another attempt on Butter Potatoes. Same procedure, but I skipped the boiling part. And aside from garlic, I put in some chopped spring onions.
- o0o -

What: (Almost) Yang Chow Fried Rice
When: 3 February, Sunday

Notes: We love rice! Well, obviously. Hehehe... I think I've cooked enough garlic rice already. So, this time, it's an attempt to do Yang Chow fried rice. I sauteed onions and garlic. Put in the rice. Added some veggies you can buy frozen from the grocery. Seasoned it with sesame seed oil, salt, and pepper.
Almost there, but not quite yet. More practice!