Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Country in Debt

If you are a Singaporean and read Mandarin.. this article from a magazine in Hong Kong would be interesting for you.

Singapore has low foreign debt..

Is our debt low because the Singapore government borrows from it's citizens.. compulsorily through CPF?

Or is our tax high because CPF (compulsory savings for working Singaporeans) is money most of us are unlikely to ever get back in our life time?

Whatever you think, this is an interesting read.
負債大國新加坡 (2011年08月25日)

Monday, August 29, 2011

2014 Expectations

It is likely that we'd be moving in 2014.

Now that is a long time away.. so I say "likely" because I don't think we are very sure yet.

It's a move to somewhere rather far (for Singapore) from where we are staying now.. so it's going to be a pretty big move.

I'm quite excited.

The packing and moving part scares me a little... and the thought of having to live on almost the other side of Singapore doesn't excite me too much. My family moved to this part of Singapore when I was about 10 and I feel like I've always been staying here. I know the roads and shops well.. and everything is familiar. Right now, that part of Singapore just looks too inconvenient to me.

It's strange to feel this reluctance about moving because I'm actually usually quite open to relocation. It didn't take me too long to buy in to the idea of moving to China a few years ago.. and it was the same when it came to moving back to Singapore. And I'm always opened to move to other countries..

Somehow though I feel that where we are now is the place to be in Singapore. It's strange.. but the feeling of reluctance is real.

Oh well, you never know how life turns out to be so let's see. 2014 is still quite some time away so that means we have lots of time to decide.

And in the meantime, I can look around and learn practical renovation and house decoration tips.

Hopefully our bathroom will look like this..

Drink Up

Some of my colleagues jokingly call me a camel because I don't drink a lot of water.

Sometimes things get so busy at work that I forget to get myself a glass of water and don't drink anything for an entire day.

It's a really bad habit of course.

Happily I do like drinking water.. especially when it's freshened up with a slice of lemon and some fresh mint, like I did today.

We all know water is good for us.. but I think this website called "Dumb Little Man" has a really good article on water. The article puts forth very good reasons for drinking water - did you know that  drinking water can help with weight loss, headaches and gives you more energy? Sounds like I really do need to drink up!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Simple Baked Chicken Leg

When I'm not sure what to cook for dinner, I usually end up baking chicken.

Tonight's baked chicken was seasoned with sea salt, sweet soy sauce, white pepper and honey. And I baked it with some whole garlic, shallots and lemongrass. Baking it at about 190 deg C for 60 minutes makes it crispy on the outside, yet soft and tender inside.

It's nice to do a variation now and then of roasted/ baked chicken, although I have to say that my favourite is any baked chicken with herbs (like this chicken with lemon-myrtle and rosemary).

Hot Soup, Cold Drinks

The weather has been really hot recently, and then these couple of days, it started raining and then drizzling a lot.

On days when the weather is uncomfortable, I think food can really help brighten up the day!

I love a bowl of hot soup on a rainy day. The Husband made my favourite golden fish soup recently. Even though that was just a couple of weeks ago, I was craving it again today.

But icy cold drinks taste great to me on all kinds of days in Singapore, whether hot or wet. Today, I made an iced pu'er tea with fresh lime juice. It was really yummy too... and it's healthy too unlike most iced drinks out there.

Today is a good start to a long weekend - I'm off work until Tuesday. It's a nice break because I have been feeling tired and frustrated at work recently.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Noisy Quiet Holiday

Today is Singapore's 46th birthday and hence a public holiday.

My family had plans for the day - we wanted to have a pot luck party at my mum's place and she'd make my favourite popiah (fresh spring roll).

Sadly, my mum had a bad fall in her bathroom on Sunday night and is now hospitalised and kept under observations. Thankfully, she seems to be improving - she definitely looks a lot better today compared to yesterday and should be discharged tomorrow.

So we ended up staying at home for most parts of today.. to rest and have a quiet day.

But our neighbours are having the big party we originally wanted to have. The party started this afternoon and there are yelling and crying children next door since this afternoon. It's pretty amazing to me how children can make that much noise. :)

Still, The Husband and I managed to have a good rest today and I found time to cook this baked balsamic chicken for dinner tonight.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Cookies from Cookies Quartet

Cookies are happy food to me.

And Cookies Quartet is one of my favourite places in the world for delicious, delicate cookies. Cookies Quartet is based in Hong Kong and is located at Kowloon City.

They sell a variety of flavours - my favourites are Hazelnut Pepper Cookies, Devil Chocolate Cookies and Blueberry Cookies.

They are also very famous for their palmiers. Palmiers, also called "Butterfly puffs" in Cantonese are made from puff pastry, similar to the dough used for croissant, but without the yeast. These are buttery, super light and crispy. The sugar/ honey layer on top of the palmier is sweet yet not too sweet. These are pretty dangerous snacks because it is really hard to stop eating them once you start.

Get a box of the cookies or palmiers the next time you travel to Hong Kong!


Cookies Quartet
Add: G/F, 9A Lion Rock Road, Kowloon City
Tel: +852-2382 2817

Friday, August 5, 2011

National Orchid Garden

The National Orchid Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a pretty little garden with lots of different kinds of orchids.

I love the bright cheery colours of the orchids, especially the purple ones.

I'd let the pictures do the talking for this post.


I love the bright purple coloured orchids

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Everything with Fries

Everything with Fries is a restaurant owned by the people who own Awfully Chocolate. The food is pretty good - I like the tandoori chicken sandwich I had very much.

But the restaurant's main star is fries and I must say their fries is delicious. I like the thinner shoe-string version better. The fries come in a variety of flavours - original, curry, salt and vinegar, sour-cream and onion, plus garlic and herbs.

I really liked the original flavoured fries - they were slightly spicy, slightly salty and I could hardly stop eating them.

This restaurant has a number of branches - I visited the one at Holland Village.

Original flavoured shoe string fries

Everything with Fries
Add: 40 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village
Tel: +65 6463 3741

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shopping for Flowers

I love shopping.. for all kinds of things but shopping for flowers is different from shopping for other things. You are, after all, buying home something that has a life of its own. And so you will have to like how it looks.. and think about whether you are able to take good care of it.

World Farm is my favourite place for buying flowers.

I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful plants they have at World Farm. For some reason, they grow them very well - the hibiscus, for example, have large beautiful leaves with HUGE flowers. Ms Flamenco used to be one of those beautiful hibiscus plant.. In my balcony now though, she is skinny, with smaller leaves and smaller flowers.

I haven't had too much time lately for gardening, so I decided to bring home just a few new plants.

A mini orchid my sister-in-law brought home. 
I like it so much!