Floral bouquet for mum that’s so gorgeous, I almost kept it for myself

It was Mum’s birthday a few weeks ago and I wanted to surprise her with something I know she loves – flowers!

This is a hand bouquet from Floral Garage Singapore, made up of mainly sunflowers and tulips (my Mum’s favourite flowers) and dressed up in rustic-looking wrapping, which was the style that I opted for. You can go for a different look (for example, modern) if it’s more in line with your preference.

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The bouquet reached my house promptly a day before my Mum’s birthday (I wanted it sent to me first so I can present it to her myself when we meet up for celebration the next day.)

Here are a few close-up shots so you can see how gorgeous the flowers are:

I really love how the combination worked together and the tulips really looked beautiful.

I’m extremely pleased with the quality of the flowers. They looked fresh, beautiful, and the colour harmony was just on point. I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO RECEIVE FROM SOMEONE!

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This bouquet sells for just S$89.90, which is one of the most affordable around that I know. If you had gone into a florist shop in town, this could have been upwards of S$100.

I left it in my fridge overnight, and it still looked impeccable the next day. Before I left to meet my family, I sprayed the flowers with some water – so it looks more “dewy”! – and off I went!

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My Mum absolutely LOVED it and couldn’t stop admiring it.

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Floral Garage also offers other interesting options that I was deciding between.

The first was roses in a box, which I’ve been seeing on social media, but I felt that it was probably more appropriate as a romantic gift (ehem, ehem… to my husband).

The vegetables bouquet seemed the most creative to me and I was almost sure my Mum would have broke into laughters seeing it. I’m bookmarking this for Mothers’ Day (maybe go with a note to thank her for cooking so many wonderful meals for me?) OR I’d think it can be ideal as a housewarming gift for friends too, heh!

You probably know that flowers can be really pricey during Valentine’s Day, so here’s a great deal to share with you: Floral Garage Singapore is giving away soft toys (such as I love you pillows and teddy bears) as well as discounted prices if you make an order in January.

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Udders Isn’t Just Great At Ice-Cream, It’s A Champion In Pancakes Too

I’ve visited Udders along Upper Thomson Road many times (because it’s near to where I used to stay before I got married, so it is a usual haunt for supper) and have noticed that they started selling pancakes some time ago. However, I’ve never ordered it; somehow I felt that a brand that’s known for great ice-cream can’t do well in pancakes, y’know, like how you expect someone who can speak good English to not be able to speak good Mandarin too?

(I’m making this analogy despite the fact that I’m effectively bilingual. So, yes, please mark the irony.)

This is until I moved to the west and started going to the Bukit Timah area (near Beauty World) for supper instead. There’s an Udders Ice Cream outlet there that I visit with my West-side friends, and I noticed that it also has a new Udders Pancakes outlet next to it now. My first thought: Wow, so, they’re quite serious about this pancake business huh?

Still, I didn’t visit it, because, y’know… a brand that’s known for great ice-cream can’t possibly… yada yada… yup, thanks for completing the sentence for me.

This is until Udders invited me to The Udder Pancake for dinner (with the promise of ice-cream too) that I gave it a shot.

The Udder Pancake cute interior

Similar to Udders Ice Cream, which has a very cheeky brand image (notice their staff wearing t-shirts that say “Ice-cream is better than _ _ _” or “Don’t be selfish, think of Udders”?), The Udder Pancake has lots of playful design within the shop that I can’t help but go through each of them and taking a picture of them. These are some of my favourite (and let’s see if you get the joke):

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And the cute design isn’t just restricted to the shop, but in the toilet as well. This is in the gents (I, erm… got special permission to enter…) and if you press the button, you’ll hear whistling.

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Besides the “In case of…” installations, the furniture are interesting as well:

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The above is not a real rock, by the way. When you’re there, look for this “rock seat” and touch it. It’s really amazing.

Some of the tables also come with adorable displays like this:

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Review of The Udder Pancake food

The very generous Udders ordered A LOT of food for Keith and me so that we can try as much dishes as possible.

This is the Honey-glazed Herbed Chicken (S$14.90).

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I’d say that this is perhaps the safest choice in the menu, and is a crowd-pleaser. The chicken is slightly charred but gives a very flavourful “BBQ” taste. It’s marinated very thoroughly and is served with honey mustard sauce that goes well with both the chicken and the pancakes.

We also had the Tequila-fired Seafood Pot (S$18.90), which we thought was a very interesting combination for pancakes. I’ve never had pancakes with seafood, ever.

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The pot of seafood may be small, but the garlic sauce is creamy and rich, and it came with really good quality, fresh seafood, including greenback mussels, prawns and scallops, seared with tequila. The sauce went surprisingly well with the pancakes, and I’d love to have some bread to dip it with.

The Salmon, Crab & Caviar Egg Benedict (S$16.90 for half stack, S$24.90 for full stack) sound like a decadent treat and this is now my favourite style of egg benedict. The generous layer of crab coupled with the creamy pouched-egg-plus-hollandaise sauce are a party in the mouth, and the caviar gives it a much-appreciated texture, making the dish a very wholesome and delectable dish. This is my personal favourite.

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And this is a close second for me (but Keith’s favourite): the Pulled Pork Egg Benedict (S$12.90 for half stack, S$17.90 for full stack). The seasoning for the pulled pork was excellent – savoury with just the right amount of sweetness. Similarly, it wasn’t a combination that we really expected, but they go very well together.

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I must also mention that, alone, the pancakes were a treat too. If you remember how McGriddles tasted like… well, these Udder pancakes tasted almost the same, but without the maple syrup sweetness. They’re crispy on the circumference, but very fluffy on the inner part. I would have been satisfied with eating it plain, actually – but of course, there’s no way I would have said no to the other combinations.

Besides the pancakes, check out their drinks selections too. The Elderflower Gummy Bears, for instance, makes for a really cute drink that’s very Instagram-worthy.

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Recently, The Udder Pancake has also launched two new fries selections: Mentaiko (S$9.90) and Salted Egg (S$9.90).

 

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They also have perennial favourites like Truffle Fries.

I’ve gone back again just one month after this tasting and brought friends along this time because I really enjoyed the food. The next time you’re thinking of having ice-cream at Udders, consider hopping over a little earlier for lunch or dinner instead (and then have ice-cream after that).

The Udder Pancake is located at 17 Lor Kilat. They’re opened:

Mon – Thurs (12pm – 11pm), Fri (12pm – 12am), Sat (11am – 12am) and Sun (11am – 11pm). On eves of public holidays, they’re opened till 12mn and on public holidays, they open at 11am. In other words, they’re opened EVERY DAY. See The Udder Pancake full menu by clicking here.

I Want To Take Better Care Of My Body Skin!

I spend almost 20 minutes per day on skincare: cleanser, toner, eye cream, serum, moisturiser, and a facial mask a few times a week.

And the amount of time I spent on my body skin? Zilch.

I recently went on a trip to Taiwan and checked myself in a hotel with an en-suite onsen. Thanks to this facility, I indulge in a bath two times a day – before I leave the hotel in the morning and after I get back from the day’s activities. What I noticed was that my body skin became reaaaaally smooth. My body skin tends to be dry and on certain parts, a little flaky. So, with the results yielded, I must say that I liked it!

As such, one of my new resolutions (I don’t care if it’s already four months into 2015!) is to take better care of my body skin.

The body care ritual I’m intending to commit to

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The body skin isn’t that much different from the facial skin, if you think about it. It deserves the same kind of care ritual! This is what I’m intending to commit to:

1. Shower Gel aka Cleanse
2. Body Scrub aka Exfoliate
3. Body Butter aka Moisturise
4. Body Mist aka Moisturise on-the-go
5. Foot scrub aka Exfoliate
6. Foot moisturiser aka Moisturise

I’m currently using a shower gel from Crabtree & Evelyn’s Somerset Meadow collection and it doesn’t just smell wonderful, and is very, very moisturising as well. I alternate between an Yves Rocher scrub and a Soap and Glory scrub. I’m intending to look into getting more body care products from Soap and Glory because I really like how they smell. The fun and cheeky packaging is irresistible too.

P/S: I’ll also be sharing more about my Taiwan trip. I had a blast!

Share with me! How do you take care of your body skin? What products do you use?

 

myVillage Is My New Kampung

I’ve been residing at Ang Mo Kio almost all my life, and besides Ang Mo Kio Central, the other place that I used to visit with my family and friends is the Serangoon Gardens area. I’ve always been drawn by the rather rustic vibe that I get from the area, and the very good food that Chomp Chomp Food Centre offers.

The visits there became less regular since I moved to Clementi after getting married. But after I got re-orientated to the myVillage mall, following an invitation from their marketing team, I’m determined to visit it more often and make it the kampung I hang out with my loved ones!

My reasons?

  • It has a sense of cosiness about it. I like that it doesn’t have the hustle and bustle that I have to put up with when I’m at other heartland malls (I’m sure you can think of a few as you read this).
  • It may not be a huge mall, but it has everything that I need: from NTUC Fairprice to QB House, and from Guardian to DBS Bank.
  • On top of the “necessary” services that I mentioned above, it also offers a more interesting tenant mix that most other malls don’t offer, some of which I’m going to talk about a little more in this post.

Now, come along with me on my little tour around myVillage, and I’ll show you what I meant:

There are several reputable beauty services at myVillage

And I’m talking about literally head-to-toe beauty services. MyVillage is home to Gui Ren Tang (head, for hair treatments), Beyond Beauty (for facials, massages and manicures), and Chen Kang Foot Reflexology (toe, for foot massages). Cuttour, a hairstyling salon, and Nail Addict, a manicure salon are also at myVillage.

At the tour, I visited Beyond Beauty and enjoyed a massage at the spa.

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As a beauty editor, I have visited many spas, tried many massages and spoke to many therapists. At Beyond Beauty, it was the first time I’ve encountered a therapist who was able to tell me, based on her TCM knowledge, what are some ailments I should be worried about and how I can go about resolving them.
For instance, my therapist advised me to soak my feet in warm water before I sleep if I can, because I’m someone who tends to get chills more easily. This is in fact something that I know I’ve been suffering from since I was a child. She also shared a lot more other health tips that are specific to me, which I shan’t share on this public space 🙂

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Fashion junkies: Hot spot alert!

When I was in university, I used be very excited to visit Chomp Chomp Food Centre, not just because of the food, but also because of a fashion store that’s within the area. The store isn’t your usual “market” store selling “auntie” clothes, but actually stocks very fashionable wear that I remember buying for Chinese New Year.

Guess what – the children of the owner of that store now runs their own fashion accessories outlet – U-design – at myVillage.

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It looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because the fashion taste of the U-design owners are obviously impeccable.

I understand that they source for their ware from overseas, especially from Korea. It took me very long to shop, because I want to buy everything, but I managed to go home with two necklaces and two pairs of earrings. These are the necklaces I picked!

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You might have seen me flaunting some of them on my Instagram. Here are pictures of me and Qiu Ting having a blast at the shop:

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 By the way, you can quote “Kristen Juliet” at U-design to enjoy 10% off your purchases!

Food at myVillage is quite an exciting deal too!

There are quite a number of food options at myVillage. You can go for something hearty, like steak at iSteaks, or burgers at Relish Gardens (Which I absolutely love! So much so that fellow blogger, Yina, saw me once in person there, and noticed that I was there again at the myVillage outlet in the same week. She called me out on Instagram :p).

Otherwise, if you want something that’s great for sharing, I’d recommend Yogiyo Chicken. Its owners brought the fried chicken that got its fame at the Hongdae area in Korea to Singapore, and this is their first outlet here. Very interestingly, having visited Hongdae before, I felt that Hongdae has this laidback vibe that myVillage also shares.

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I’m not a super huge fan of fried chicken, but even so, I have to say these are good stuff. MyVillage’s marketing manager shared how he can almost have this as a daily meal, and I can totally see where he’s coming from.

Whether it is the non-spicy ones with honey and topped with sesame…

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Or the spicy ones that have just enough spice to give a kick to the taste, but not too much to have me yelling for water…

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They’re both really delicious.

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I like that these very functional, but somewhat cute, thumb gloves were handed out to us so we won’t have to dirty our fingers while digging in.

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You can sweeten things up at myVillage

There are several dessert places you can visit, if you want to find a nice place to share some food and good conversations; Bakerzin, Little Wimbly Lu and Udders Ice Cream are all available at myVillage.

Ice-cream is my Achilles’ heel of all desserts, and that’s why I was on cloud nine when I was told that visiting Udders Ice Cream was part of the tour.

I’ve been a patron of Udders since forever their first outlet at Novena, and have been going back to them because of their Mao Shan Wang ice-cream (I’m a huge durian fan) and alcoholic options that are served with real alcohol (they have a license for it).

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At the tasting, I was treated to not just my favourite Mao Shan Wang Durian ice-cream, alcoholic fares like the Orange Choc Bitters, Bailey’s & Bourbon, Tira-miss-u and Rum Rum Raisin, I also had a preview to the Nian Gao ice-cream, which they served only during the Chinese New Year period.

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I spoke to co-founder Peck Lin, and learnt more about how they made sure their ice-creams are made of the freshest ingredients, and the thoughts and innovation that they put into creating new flavours every month.

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After the very indulgent tasting, I still love my Mao Shan Wang, but have also developed a new love for the Snickers Mars Honeycomb Vanilla, Awesomely Chocolate, and Salted Speculoos (as you can see, I’ve ventured beyond the intended tasting menu that day and started tasting other flavours hahaha!). I love almost all the alcoholic flavours, by the way, although I’m kind of decided to be a teetotaller for the next two years because I just got into remission. (This being said, I’ve already had a teeny weeny bit of alcohol this year, but I’m really cutting down by at least 99%.)

MyVillage is located at 1 Maju Avenue, which is just a stone’s throw away from Chomp Chomp Food Centre, in the Serangoon Gardens area. Find out more at its website.

 

I Think I’ve Found My Favourite Waffles Place!

Thanks to the recommendation of our friend Camy, who is a bona fide cafe guru, Keith and I went to Department of Caffeine one leisurely weekend for brunch (with Camy).

I’ve always had a nice memory of waffles, because it’s a weekend food that I ate frequently when I was a kid – at A&W. I can’t exactly remember whether A&W waffles were REALLY good, but I haven’t tried good waffles for the longest time. For instance, the waffles at Strangers’ Reunion didn’t impress.

We heard that waffles were a signature for Department of Caffeine, so we decided to go with it.

I went with a pretty safe choice of Buttermilk Waffles with butter rum bananas ($12.50) served with New Zealand Premium vanilla ice-cream.

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My order came first and as I took a bite into the waffles, I can’t stop telling Keith how much I liked it. It was very crispy, fragrant and the ice-cream was really – pardon the pun – icing on the cake.

I had my waffles with a glass of Apple, Ginger & Fresh Mint juice ($5.50), which was very refreshing.

Keith ordered the Apple Pie Waffles, which looked like a de-constructed apple pie that sits on top of crispy waffles.

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And I enjoyed this thoroughly. I’ve always enjoyed apple pies but usually find them a bit too sweet. This was just right, and the buttery taste of the waffles balance out the sweetness of the fruits. The crumbles on top made it extra delicious.

Keith ordered the hot chocolate ($5) to go with his treat. It was one of the best hot chocolate I’ve tried too, and I would have gone for it, if not because I also had hot chocolate the night before at another cafe. Call me weird, but I simply refuse to have the same type of food/drink as I did within such a short time.

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Department of Caffeine is located at 15 Duxton Road. They’re closed every Wednesday, and are opened on weekdays from 10.30am to 7pm, and on weekends from 9.30am – 7pm. It’s one of the few cafes that opens so early on weekends, so if you want to start your day early on a weekend, this is where you can go. Get more info on their Facebook page.

First Date All Over Again At Prive

For a good six months, the hospital has been my second home. I’ve been feeling ill even before our wedding, so while we’re newly-wedded, Keith and I have not gone on a proper “date” since we were married.

Our first date since I finished chemotherapy treatment was at Prive – where we went to for our first date.

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The first time we were there, we ordered the Eggs Ben and Eggs Royale (because I couldn’t make up my mind which to get, Keith suggested that we order both and he’ll take the one I didn’t prefer.)

This time, we ordered different things on the menu. We started with a minestrone, which goes very well with the garlic bread.

 

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The Quiche Lorraine that I had was a tad too salty for my liking.

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So was the Eggs Royale that Keith had.

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The mudpie was very indulgent, though – and a little too sweet with the generous dressing of condensed milk. This goes well with a pot of tea with no sugar.

 

 

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Overall, I don’t think the food’s fantastic but I really like the ambience there. What’s more, the place brings back good memories. I’m going back for sentimental reason.

We Don’t Go Out Anymore!

Keith and I have set Fridays as “date nights”. Every Friday, we are supposed to spend time together, without doing work or household chores.

I was expecting us to do this:

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In other words, hang out, eat, laugh out loud.

But in reality, this is what Fri-dates are looking like:

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After having dinner, we end up in front of the TV, watching Bluray DVDs.

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I’m not complaining, though. Because watching DVDs at home is wayyyy better than hitting the cinemas, at least to me.

1. I get to watch movies from my super comfy sofa, an experience that you can only get if you pay for a pricier ticket at the cinema.

2. I can do movie marathons if I wish. I can have any snacks and foods I wish to have while watching the movie.

3. I can pause the movie if I wish to go to the toilet or get more snacks.

4. No annoying people who can’t stop talking or can’t turn off their phones.

5. And finally, I can talk as loudly as I wish, discussing about the storyline.

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What’s more, at home, I can enjoy a very similar cinematic experience, thanks to my new Pioneer Home Entertainment System, which was my wedding/house-warming gift from Pioneer.

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We took a video of how it sounds. It’s a lot better in real life, of course. This clip is from Tron.

And thanks to the woofer that comes with the system, I can literally “feel” the cannons from Les Miserables and gun shots from Taken 2.

 

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This is why I don’t mind staying home for Fri-dates.

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I’m planning to rent the entire eight films from the Harry Potter franchise and watch them over a few days. Maybe we should do it over the Chinese New Year holidays.

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No need to go out anymore. Heh heh.