Sunday, January 13, 2008

I have moved

Friends and family please contact me for my new blog address! Ta. xx

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Beyonce shelves Malaysia concert

Beyonce is due to tour a number of Asian countries. Singer Beyonce has cancelled a concert in Malaysia, weeks after Gwen Stefani reluctantly agreed to cover up to meet the country's strict dress codes.
Beyonce cited a "scheduling conflict" for her decision to shift the performance to Indonesia, a Muslim country with more relaxed rules.
The star will now appear in Jakarta on 1 November instead of Kuala Lumpur, going on to China four days later. Indonesia has the highest Muslim population in the world.
Stefani wore sober outfits at a show in August, calling it a "major sacrifice". She put jackets over her tops and leotards underneath her skirts and dresses, to conform to the guidelines during the concert.
Activists had earlier called for her gig to be cancelled, owing to fears that her raunchy costumes could corrupt the country's youth.

Razlan Ahmad Razali, chairman of Malaysian promoter Pineapple Concerts, said he was "disappointed and frustrated" at Beyonce's cancellation.
"Although Indonesia is also a Muslim country, it doesn't have all these issues that we have," he told the Associated Press.

Gwen Stefani adhered to Malaysian regulations"She can perform as she likes there," added Mr Razali. Official guidelines about performances in Malaysia state that female artists must cover up from the top of the chest to the knees.
Performers are also forbidden from jumping, shouting or embracing members of the audience.
Tickets for the concert at the 9,000-seater Putra Stadium in the Malaysian capital had not yet gone on sale.
US group The Pussycat Dolls were censured by the Malaysian authorities for flouting the regulations at a concert last year. The local promoters were fined for allowing them to perform "sexually suggestive" routines.

Globalisasi, my foot!

Monday, September 03, 2007


It never ceases to tickle me when sellers on ebay use BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS LIKE THIS. I feel like they are screaming comically at me - a loudhailer in one hand, their mouths half the size of their head.

And then the icing on the cake: BID WITH CONFIDENCE!!!!



What does that mean anyway? Bid with confidence? Do people otherwise bid with low self-esteem? Or a wavering sense of despair? It kinda reminds me of the days back in primary school when we standard 6 girls will be herded into the dewan (hall) and there will be some ceramah motivasi (motivational speech) by some loony speaker who will scream and shout and spit into the microphone and make us repeat after him '5A - saya BOLEH!'

Those were the days. Personally I think most of us girls, even at that impressionable age, agreed that the speech did nothing more than provide temporary comic relief and an excuse to get away from classes and our stern ruler-bearing Math teacher. (No, the ruler was never used for measuring lengths).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

You wait ages for a bus...


Basically I have to move out by tonight because tomorrow I will not BE here to check out by 10am because I will have to work tomorrow.

Moreover, I have a Very Important Interview tomorrow which I cannot prepare for now because I got home from work at 7.00pm and have been packing ever since (save this few minutes of rant-blogging).

And to make things worse, things are starting to really pick up pace at work (as I have been hoping because I really want to learn but ARGH BAD TIMING) and now I feel like I'm being met by an avalanche.

Also - I will be homeless tomorrow and apparently there is a problemo with my apartment which I am supposed to move into on Saturday and I fear that I might not even have a place to move into on Saturday!! I seriously need to BUY a house man. All this moving is driving me insane - in the last 3 months this will be the FOURTH time I've moved. ALLLLL my stuff I ever owned- nothing left behind. Ahhh wish my parents were in England. Or even Wales I don't care as long as there's a house I can leave bits and bobs in.

Urgh, being alone is just really ma fan.

wo zhen de hen lei!!!!...

Ok gtg pack and move and ARGHHHH

Monday, August 27, 2007

Maybe I need to do some soul searching, and God searching, to find and live that life which is purposeful.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The nephews

Babies Matthew and Jake in matching outfits heh heh.

Baby Matthew is so cute. And now he has a little brother called baby Jake. :)

Matthew also started expressing himself, what he wants, what he likes and what he doesn't like. And he's soooo flirtatious with girls! He's so easssyyy to take care of. He seldom cries or whines, he picks himself up when he falls, never complains, and is mega-affectionate. Sometimes he runs up to you, grins, gives your knees a huge hug and disappears giggling.

He calls Diego Tio (meaning uncle in spanish) and recently over the phone he's been calling me Tia! The last time I met him, he was already the smiley, dancey boy but couldn't speak yet. Oh he loves dancing. And his moves are PRETTY GOOD! He looks better than some guys in Zouk on mambo nights. (Ah, at least the mambo nights as I remember them?). I remember when we were at Sea World, Gwen Stephanie's Rich Girl came on and he just stopped running, grinned and danced, shaking his little booty and doing quick little shuffles with his feet. He only just learnt to WALK!!! It just makes you gape in awe at how kids just absorb everything in their surroundings and learn so quickly.

He's going to be such a little heartbreaker when he grows up :)

I refuse to turn this into a food blog

It really scares me how MUCH I think of cooking - what to cook, how to cook it, what to put in it. Like today after badminton, I was thinking about the leftover wine a friend brought over for me had that has gone slightly vinegary as I kept forgetting to finish it after we opened it. Then my mind wandered to the half aubergine that I had in the fridge that would go brown in a few days time if I didn't eat it now.

What the heck was I going to do with bad wine and half an aubergine (i.e. brinjal to friends back home and eggplant to boyfriend) ?

I love these little shiny babies. Grilled with olive oil, pan fried or even coated with tempura batter and fried in oil, you name it, I've done it. They're just so yummy!

Then it hit me: I will make Pork and Aubergine Chasseur! With paella on the side. It was absolutely amazing. And ridiculously simple to make. The colours really go well together, the red chasseur sauce, bright yellow paella dotted with bits of red and green pepper, and of course both sides of the pork medallions were nicely browned on the pan. I think I went a bit overboard with the wine though. Eager to finish the bottle (I hate wasting) I literally drowned the pork medallions in wine. You can easily find recipes for chasseur sauce online. Traditionally, the French make chicken chasseur but I pork was on sale that day :). This is my version of it which is exactly how I like it!

The sauce:
1. Melt butter in a pan and add chopped onions
2. Scatter some flour into the pan (I know this is weird but it makes the sauce really yummy)
3. Stir well and add wine (I added half a bottle, and it was whooooooooooo strong, so maybe a little less would be just nice), tomato paste and bay leaves (VERY IMPORTANT) and parsley or coriander (I cheat heh heh, I use the dried coriander in a bottle).
4. Add some chicken stock, and add salt and pepper to taste. I also used the sauces that I got from the pan after frying the pork. Simmer, set aside.

Cooking instructions:

1. Season pork medallions with salt and pepper. The salt helps it the outside brown nicely with a slight crisp.
2. Heat olive oil in pan. Pan fry sliced aubergines and pork medallions. Pour sauce over pork and aubergines and let it simmer for a bit before serving with paella.

The paella:
Go to ASDA and buy a packet of quick cook paella. Quick cook it as instructed by packet. Heh heh. ASDA's packet paella is pretty good!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Total relaxation

I don't know what it is about cooking and baking that totally relaxes me. Maybe it's the sense of accomplishment? Or perhaps the wonderful feeling I get when I've created something with my own two hands and a touch of imagination. The finished product, the dish or dessert is a microcosm of say an oil painting or even a skyscraper that one has laboured on for months / years.

It's a different feeling from what I experience after I'm done with an essay, project or assignment. No doubt I feel happy and relieved after handing in an essay or finished what I need to do for a client. With cooking it's just different. The work is right before me, active, sizzling, steamy and smelling wonderful! It's just so tangible.

Today I came home from work feeling tired and worried about having to move soon. I went to the kitchen and looked in my cupboards. Flour, eggs, sugar, nutella, margarine - all kinds of crap I'll probably have to throw away because I can't possibly move all my stuff AND the stuff in the kitchen all by myself. Then the idea hit me. The urge to bake! (no surprise there I guess lol)
No recipe - just what I remember from the other times I've baked, instinct and some luck.

My foolproof nutella cookies recipe:

Combine equal amounts of butter and sugar and beat until white and fluffy. Add pinch of salt. (Every time I bake, I always throw in a pinch of salt somewhere!)

Add nutella and mix. Keep adding until satisfied with level of nutella-ness. Be sure to stir and combine well.

Add egg. Combine well.

Add flour until you're happy with the consistency of the cookie batter. It shouldn't be a dough, but it cannot be too runny. Ok sorry I'm not being very specific. Right, lets see... it should be the consistency of glue - hey! :)

Scoop little spoonfuls of cookie batter onto a baking tray lined with foil. Chuck into preheated oven (at whatever temperature between 190 to 240 deg Celcius. I find it doesn't actually make a difference as long as you keep within that range). Wait 12 minutes. (At this point, I popped into the bathroom to have a nice hot shower!) Take it out. If it doesn't look ready, chuck it back in for another few minutes. Just don't let it burn cuz it tastes nasty!

Once you've taken your cookies out of the oven PLEASE FOR PETE'S SAKE DON'T TRY TO LIFT IT OFF THE BAKING SHEET. At this point, most cookies will still be too soft and if you mess around with them they're gonna break and stick. Let them cool and as they do, they will harden and lift off the tray nicely.

My cookies in weird trapezium shapes and me happy and fresh out the shower! :) Trust me they tasted amazing. (My eyes look so sepet without make up! :S)

Ok I'm off to bed now!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I'm feeling a little down at the moment. I think my life is very uninteresting! I used to sing, perform, dance, a gazillion and one projects. Now I just work, come home and dawdle and sleep. My lifestyle is making ME uninteresting.

I'm going to sign up for classes. Oh wait, I have no money. Ok I'm gonna sign up for classes when I get paid.

That's like ... forever!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Monday, August 13, 2007

Bratz: The Movie

Watched Bratz: The Movie today and ooooh maaan, what a waste of bloody time. I am so glad I didn't pay money to watch this cheesy, over-glossed, dim-witted movie. I almost sank into my seat in embarassment for all girl-kind when they squealed "BFF!!". NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT IN REAL LIFE. The movie's only saving grace was Jade, the supposedly Asian one who I thought from some angles was pretty cute. In fact, I actually found myself wishing I looked like her at some parts of the movie. She's cute lah. Not hot or beautiful. But very very cute. *Smileyface.*

First Day

It was my first day at the new law firm and so far so good! My heart did a flip of delight when I saw my name plaque on the front of my future little spot in the department I'll be working in, bold black letters on gold :) And my desk, my computer, phone and other stuff which I was too excited to remember. I'm going to bring a plant! And fish bowl if they let me. Heh heh.

I have people to do my copying, printing, binding, scanning - I don't even have to type out letters. Just dictate them onto a dictaphone and pass it on to the secretaries. No more fiddling with formatting or typing or copying YAY! A nice guy who deals with the beverages brought tea and lush biscuits! No tesco value stuff :) I come in and my post will be laid neatly on my desk. If I need to book any catering, drinks, rooms, whatever for clients all I need to do is email reception to let them know. They're so professional and go the extra mile to make sure everything's in order.

Everyone's so nice! The secretaries, doc production, office facilitators, juniors, they always say the same thing, if I need anything don't hesitate to call them. The lawyers are really approachable too. Everyone seems to take pride in what they do.

I can't wait to qualify. The way I see it, there's nowhere to go but upwards.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Leaving Day - and a picnic!

It was my last day at my current company today and the team gave me some pink Rose Cava - lush! I will really miss them. Time certainly flies (I've worked with them for a little more than a year!) and come to think of it, I spent more time at work than I did in classes at Uni. I was a little sad to leave as my colleagues have become really good friends, but who's to say we won't see each other again eh?

The Cava was a pretty good parting gift as I brought it along to Liv and Steph's picnic! :) A nice refreshing pink bubbly - yummm. And amazing food. I baked a moist chocolate cake for the picnic - at midnight last night after I got back from my leaving do! Will let the pictures do the talking.

Whitworth Park in Summer!

Our food! Pizza, pudding, coleslaw, cantaloupe, chicken, juice, chocolate cake, CAVA! Pringles..

We sat beneath the trees

My leaving gift





the moist chocolate cake I baked :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dinner for 7

I invited six friends over for dinner last night. Wasn't quite sure how they'd react to Malaysian food but I was determined to cook food that I used to eat at home. Made Ayam Masak Merah and a stir fry brocolli dish with steamed thai jasmine rice (ooooooh the aroma mmm.....).

They liked it! Yay :) Jean Yves and Yohan had seconds too. Adam, Yvonne, Hafsha and Panji said they loved it and I was so pleased (and relieved!).


Had a massive massive massive longing for Melaka Chicken Rice today and guess what yours truly did?

Yup - hauled some chicken out of the freezer and made chicken rice FROM SCRATCH. I am waiting for it to be ready as I type. Will try to remember to take photos this time before my appetite gets the better of me and I wolf everything down.

I had a blood taken out today at the clinic. Three whole vials, and IT WAS SO COOL watching warm blood gush out of my veins and roll into the vials, steaming up the inner vial walls.

The nurse did such a good job too. I remember when we had to undergo tests every year in Singapore as part of the scholarship requirements. We'd have to take the day off school and go as a group to some clinic. It was like a twisted scholar outing but oh, such great memories. We dreaded the blood testing bit because the nurses and even doctors could never seem to get it right. We'd be poked, re-poked and then they whine about not being able to find our veins. I remember poor Lavanya who started tearing because she had so many bad experiences with them. So this morning when I set off to the clinic I got cold feet from the thought of having to be poked by the needle several times.

But this time round things were so easy! I went in, the nurse greeted me and sat me down, rolled my sleeve up, strapped something round my arm and positioned my forearm on a pillow. She took the needle, looked at the inside of my elbow, jabbed once and blood just poured out into the vials. It took less than 30 seconds for her to get three vials out. She removed the needle and pressed a cotton swab on the puncture. 'There you go sweetheart, just press hard on this while I label these vials'. After she was finished, she slapped a plaster on and I was good to go.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Diorskin Pure Light Foundation

Got my first 'posh' foundation from an over-enthusiastic-verging-on-motherly sales assistant at a Dior cosmetics counter. I've been wearing make-up for a few years now and have sort of settled into a routine. I do believe I'm one of the lower-maintenance girls when it comes to make up, especially when you visit sites like where reviewers seem to have an entire range of different foundations in their personal collection from the tinted moisturiser to two way foundation to fluid to creme to powder to compact. And they have their summer foundations which are slightly darker and their winter foundation which is paler. Then the foundations for when they want to look like they don't have any make-up on, to the foundation for special occassions.

Look, if you wanna look like you don't have any make up on then don't use make up lah.

I must say though, makeupalley is an excellent site if you wanna get honest reviews on cosmetic products, unlike a lot of so called 'review' sites where the reviews seem to have been written by the companies themselves.

I have blemish-prone skin, any products that are even slightly comodogenic will set my skin off in an angry zit-rampage. I used L'Oreal's True Match and despite the sale assistance's insistence on it being oil-free and therefore safe for my skin, I broke out. Therefore I am extremely careful when choosing products and almost always ask for samples to try for at least a few days before I pay money for anything. I was whining to my boyfriend about my skin when he told me about Proactiv which some of his friends were using over in the States. Apparently it's actually really popular in the US. Not quite in the UK though, and because I wasn't willing to shell out £49.90 for a 5-piece set (I know I know skincare = investment, don't wanna have to resort to laser treatment when I'm older to get rid of scars blah blah shutyourface) I got him to ship it to me from LA where he could get it for cheaper, almost half the price. (I love parallel importing!).

No one paid me to say this - Proactiv really worked for me! 2 weeks of using it and my skin was perfect. And I continued using it for about 6 months and my crappy skin was kept at bay. Oh what joy it is to have nice skin! I've stopped using it for about 2 months now and no sign of breakouts yet. I get the odd little pimple every now and again but who doesn't? Be careful though because a lot of the reviews online seem to be very negative about this product. Quite a lot of people experienced bad allergic reactions to the product, peeling etc so like it said before, this product worked for me.

Pretty amazing stuff :)

I should include a little proviso here. I am not too sure whether it was Proactiv or my old foundation which did it for me. Let me introduce to you the most kick-ass foundation for blemish-prone skin, Dermablend Acne Results

The best thing was, it only cost me 12USD for a 45ml bottle but to my dismay, they've discontinued the bloody line! Dermablend's product and brand name in general is targeted towards people who need maximum coverage, post-op scarring, varicose veins etc and trust me the coverage was amazing. Plus, the foundation contained salicylic acid and was non-comodogenic. It kept shine away like a dream and had incredible staying power. However, if you're looking for something sheer and glowy, you should probably stay away from this. For me, it did a great job. Apparently Dermablend's been taken over by Vichy so goodness knows how they're going to remarket themselves. Vichy's focus on minerals and all things natural (and expensive - a Vichy sales assistant was trying to sell me mineral sunscreen with some spring water from France for a whopping 20 quid - I don't think so! Boots is selling sunscreen for a fiver) is markedly different from Dermablend's selling point - concealment, coverage and camouflage.

So I ran out of my Dermablend foundation and with the remaining stock being sold in various websites for double the price I used to pay for it, I decided it was time to move on

This is what I got:
Diorskin Pure Light in 200 (Medium Beige)

The shade was pretty darn close to my skin shade, with yellow undertones which suited my Asian skintone. Apparently 201 is even less peach/pink and would probably sell really well in Asia but the Pure Light range doesn't come in 2o1. Coverage - sheer, much sheerer than Dermablend's. It does basically what Dior claims it does:

A concentration of pure light.

- The oil-free texture provides a unique feeling of lightness and ultra natural transparent makeup finish.

- The Light Essence Complex, re-creates white light to leave the complexion beautifully radiant.

- Corrective pigments help erase imperfections and optically evens the complexion. FPS 15 SPF.

It really does give your skin a healthy glow but won't cover anything. Works well with concealers though! So far, I'm liking it. I asked the sales assistant to apply it on my face so that I could see what it'd look like. She recommended shade #300 which I discovered upon stepping out of the mall, was TOO ORANGE! Unless you're really tan, stay clear of 300. It looks fine in the bottle but urgh-- scary. Brought it back to her to swap for the 200 which was great. The SPF 15 is also a plus.

So there you go, I'll be using this one for awhile. It was pricey but seems to go a long way. The only gripe I have is that it doesn't mattify the face enough over the course of the day. Dermablend was great at keeping a matt look for the entire day. Pure Light is oil-free and so far it hasn't caused me to break out. Girls with dry skin will absolutely adore this as it glides on so smoothly, blends in really well and hydrates the skin - oh, and the leaflet says it's 50% water!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Went around Whitworth Park last night with Li Vyen helping her raise awareness and support for her Raleigh International project to Sabah. As we went from door to door, we expected a torrent of door slamming and 'leave us alone!'s. As it turned out, most people were more than willing to listen, albeit far less willing to part with their pounds. You'd think sparing a quid or so wouldn't hurt as much as they made it seem. It was for a good cause! A quid here can buy you a pack of chips, or a single ticket to town but that's about it.

On the other end of the spectrum however, there were those extra-supportive individuals (mostly middle-aged men - hmmm... makes you think!). One guy who was on late security duty listen to our pitch for about 3 minutes before giving us 10 pounds. "I'm gonna give you 10 quid, because you're going to save the jungles, and I love the jungle!".


My dreams tend to involve cool undercover missions when I'm either a spy or superhero. This time I was on a outdoor mission to do something (I don't know what the end was because I never got there). First a Range Rover took some of us to the starting base - giving us a sneak preview of the aerial, mid-air stunts we're going to be doing by passing some water-skis, boats (oooh water sports bring it!) and all of a sudden plunging off a higher platform to lower ground and then solemnly parking.

We got off and we ushered into a banquet room and it was seriously huge! Breakfast was being served buffet style and I remember meeting some Datuks/Datins, and somehow my mom was there too asking me if I wanted some bacon (??!!). But right after a huge map appeared in the middle of the banquet room detailing ways in which we could reach our final destination. It was so mystical! Two was, either follow the map which has a tendency of wanting to deceive its bearers or follow the 'egg trail'. Some of us formed a team and decided to follow the egg trail - and for some reason the first thing to do on the egg trail was to have 7 eggs EACH for breakfast. We didn't understand why but we did it anyway and I accidentally pieced back the shell for my first egg and a message was formed, and a mummified insect appeared on top of the pieces. We figured out we had to do the same for all and then collect the insect pieces. and head out to our next stop. Right outside the exit of the banquet hall were more jet skis, water skis etc but we couldn't use those yet - we had to make our own way past a strange river which changed depths every now and then.

I woke up remembering I had rice in the pot which I forgot to refrigerate!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Send Li Vyen to the Jungles of Sabah!

Hi guys! Just a bit of promo for a good friend of mine who's trying to raise funds for a Raleigh expedition to Sabah. A snippet of what the fundraiser would be like:

"I've launched a new fundraising initiative today - the "Postcards from Malaysia" campaign. As part of my fundraising project, I would send out a postcard to every donor during my expedition this October."

Find out more on her blog

It's for a good cause so do donate! Minimum donation of 1GBP. You can find out how to donate quickly and easily on her website.

Was at work since 9am yesterday training the new legal assistants when we RAN OUT OF WORK TO DO. Seriously this has never happened before and it just brings home the phrase 'many hands make light work'. The team has been joined by six new LAs and it's just amazing how contracts are issued so much faster, even if they are still learning.

Gave DPercussion in Castlefield a miss (I know right, what's wrong with me?) as I had to remind myself that I was on a very tight budget. It was the very last one too. Bet I missed out on a lot of really cool bands and DJs performing that day but you know I don't seem to mind anymore. I know I can't afford it just yet and besides I was going to Prohibition that night with Jen, Liz, Jess and Sarra!

And it was fun! Cocktails were amazing. Had my mojito (YAYYYY!) so worth it! The place had your typical plush French boudoir decor that's really popular at the moment. Girls love it! The only gripe we had was that the sofas we were sitting on were too high up. It's not very comfortable having your feet dangle inches away from the floor. Jen and I are about 5'8", Liz is 5'7" - we're pretty tall - so you can imagine how cutiepies Sarra and Jess were feeling. They're not that small either. I think they make the sofas uncomfortable so you get up and hit the dancefloor. With funky house and dance music playing, how could we not? Note to Prohibition, lower them sofas please? Still my favourite place to go to for cocktails is the Obsidian. If you're looking for a place to go to in Manchester for great cocktails and a great atmosphere, do yourself a favour and give Obsidian a go. It is lush. And the bartenders are really cute. They really put their back into shaking your drinks and have such a positive vibe about them. The vibe is infectious - they smile, you smile, the people beside you smile - great place, great decor. And the cocktails! I usually judge a place's cocktails by their Mojitos and Manhattans - and Obsidian's are amazing. They put up a bit of a show too when making your drink which is always fun. The detail they put into making the drinks - like the cute half-cut fresh passion fruit floating in your drink waiting to be scooped, or the crushed fresh raspberries - they just make that much of a difference.

I can't afford to hit Obsidian too often but seriously, the amount of goodies they pour into your drink, and the the generous measures of alcohol makes your one drink well worth it.