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Friday, June 29, 2012

Recipe: Eggs in a Basket

Just when I thought they couldn't do anything else with eggs, this popped up. I was watching a Laura in the Kitchen video, and that was the recipe she was doing that day. It's basically something like toast combined with a fried egg, but it's delicious, nutritious and RIDICULOUSLY EASY!

A rather failed attempt - the egg leaked out the sides of the bread @@

You'll need:

  • eggs
  • sliced bread
  • seasonings (if desired)
  • butter
  • cookie cutter/glass or cup (to cut a shape in the bread)

One egg to one slice of bread. It's up to you how you want your egg - Laura just cracked it into the pan and cooked it until the whites were firm but the yolk still runny. I like my egg lightly mixed for that fluffy texture. You could also add some seasonings to it if you want to, though usually all it needs is a pinch of salt.

  1. Cut a shape in the sliced bread.
  2. Heat up your pan, and melt a small amount of butter in it.
  3. Put the bread with the hole into the pan (you could toast the cut-out piece as well, but I just ate it plain with butter), then add a bit more butter to the center.
  4. Put your egg into the hole.
  5. Cook on medium low heat until the bottom is firmed.
  6. Turn the entire thing over and cook the other side. You might need to tilt the pan for this.
  7. Cook until desired consistency is reached. I like my eggs cooked all the way through.
  8. Serve topped with herbs or just dig in!

I've been making this for breakfast recently, and it's simple enough that it doesn't take too much time, but also quite nutritious, especially for a breakfast meal. Balance it even more with some fruit or veggies. I like to pair mine with a nice hot cup of black tea.

Quick, easy, nutritious~

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Discrimination No More

For one of our assignments, we were required to create a video addressing one of the social issues that exist in today's society. Immediately, other groups chose to do pre-marital pregnancies and abortion, traffic etiquette, etc.

We had a talk with our lecturer, and she shared with us some of her knowledge - in some chain restaurants, the taste and quality of food varies because the employees take it upon themselves to be creative with the menu. However, someone suggested employing mentally disabled individuals to work.

It was a success - although mentally disabled, they could follow instructions well and they could also work to support themselves. It's a win-win situation: the chain restaurants can maintain the taste and quality of their food, and the morale of the disabled employees are greatly boosted.

This is how our story goes:

The boss (Mautain) surveys his workplace and employees, and seems satisfied. We then flashback a week, when the deaf-mute employee (Jacky) came in for his interview. He entered the office late, wearing earphones, and this greatly displeased him. The moment he knew that he was deaf and mute, the boss had already made up his mind about not hiring him, but he persisted.

The next scene shows one of the admins in the office who has an amputated arm - yet she answers phone calls, does filing and a lot of other admin duties.

We often discriminate people for just being different, and this could be human nature, or media influence, or both. We all have our own comfort zones, and when it comes to accepting people who are different, we hesitate, because it's beyond our comfort zone.

Many of us readily assume that the disabled - regardless of the type - are not fit to enter the workforce, just because they don't have something that we have. They didn't ask to be the way that they are. We should accept and embrace their differences, just like we accept and embrace someone of a difference race, culture, ethnicity, etc.

I feel a little thick skinned saying this, but I hope you guys can help me share out this video, because apart from raising awareness about this social issue, this is also our assignment. We will be graded on how many views and thumbs-ups we get from the original video. Any feedback regarding the filming, editing, etc is also greatly appreciated~ Thank you!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What's in my make-up pouch?

Recently, I've taken to bringing a make-up pouch (my old Biotherm Acnopur pouch) around with me. Other than that, I always have my lippies in a separate pouch all the time.

Here's what I usually have in there:
  1. Lancome Hypnose mascara (black)
  2. Elianto Ultra-Define Eyeliner Pencil in Twilight Black
  3. Za Liquid Eyeliner in Real Black
  4. Elianto eyeliner sharpener
  5. shu uemura Creme Eyeshadow in Beige
  6. Bobbi Brown blush in Blushed
  7. Pigeon Compact Baby Powder in Beige
  8. Eyelash curler
  9. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector
  10. Kiehl's Lip Balm SPF15 in Hue No. 30G
  11. The Body Shop lipstick in 07 (nude rose with a slight golden shimmer)

Here's a simple look that I usually do with the few products above:

Primer (creme eyeshadow) applied all over.

Fine beige powder applied completely over the primer to enable easier blending, then blush used as eye shadow at the outer corner, blending slightly into the crease area.

Simple winged eyeliner is drawn. Straight out to lengthen, flicking upward to lift. Fill in the roots of the lashes with either pencil or liquid eyeliner.

Eyelashes are curled. Mascara is applied. Before applying, remove excess formula from the wand by running it against the edge of the tube, or by dabbing it on a piece of tissue.

Eyebrows are filled with eyeliner - GENTLY, then blended out using fingers. Clean up using baby wipes.

Powder the entire face for oil control, then blusher in the hollows of the cheeks to contour (GENTLY). Apply in the direction of the arrow. If desired, some of the shimmery creme shadow on the top of the cheekbones, nose bridge, chin and cupid's bow to highlight.

For the lips, you could go with lipstick and/or lip gloss and/or lip balm. Usually I'd apply the lipstick, then apply some balm in the center.

It takes me less than 10 minutes (5 minutes if I'm not fussy with the eyeliner) to complete this look. This is a really simple look, and would be suitable for most day-time occasions. Instead of using blush, you could substitute it with an eye shadow, but I find that this shade of blush is multifunctional.

This is my recent go-to look that is simple yet presentable enough for most daytime occasions. I seldom use eye shadows now, mostly due to laziness, and partially because I'd inevitably go for super dramatic looks the moment I touch eye shadow.

A perfect example was when I was layering some of my mum's cobalt shimmer blue eye shadow on my day make-up for dinner - I ended up with a super dark and smokey look.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reflection and realization

Just read Xiaxue's latest blog post.

It seems like karma - one minute he was talking about it, and then I read this post.

Reflection upon ourselves is a crucial thing to do, and we should do it regularly. Reflect upon the things we did wrong, and the things we should have been grateful for.

My lecturer once told us about The Secret, which is a book talking essentially about positive thinking. I never really grasped the concept of positive thinking. I knew the basic meaning of it, but I didn't know how or where to start being positive.

I live a relatively care-free life - I have good food to eat almost everyday, I have good friends who worry about me, I have a family that cares about me (even though most of the times I don't feel it), I can happily go through with my hobbies whenever I want to, all my expenses are paid for by my parents. To be honest, I'm considered very lucky.

I live in a relatively large and comfortable house. My clothes are washed, dried and ironed for me. I have my own laptop and mobile phones. I'm blessed with language skills and I've been told that I have large, teary eyes that a lot of girls wished they had, as well as a curvy frame. I study in a relatively prestigious university, and getting a dual award degree for it.

I can go out for day activities whenever I want, I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I have sisters who worry about me, and advise me when they think I need it. Almost anything that I want, my parents will get for me. I like to read? I have tons of books at home.

However, my grave mistake was that I took all of these for granted - I complained that my mum gave more attention and love to my two other sisters. I complained that I couldn't get this item when my sister got it. I was jealous that my friend carried branded bags. I was jealous that other girls could stay skinny even when eating so much, while I had to work my ass off to get to where I am today. I resented the fact that I didn't have as much freedom as other people did. I complained that my food wasn't salty or sweet enough.

I took so much for granted that I single-handedly threw away one of the most important things in my life. I always resented that it wasn't perfect, that it didn't cater to my needs as I expected it to. One day I threw it away, and I regretted it so badly.

The Secret talks about being positive, and also grateful for all you have. I should have been grateful that I have a nice, comfortable, care-free life. I should have been grateful for all that I'm blessed with, be it materialistic or not.

Karma: what goes around comes around. I kept thinking about how bad my life was, how life treated me so unfairly, and in the end, I was punished.

The key to positive thinking is this: don't think "I don't want to be the girl who's shy". Think "I wanted to be that outgoing girl that everyone loves". Convert all your negative thoughts into positive ones. Instead of resenting what you don't have, think about how much you already have, and how lucky you are to have all of it.

I haven't mastered positive thinking yet. It will be a difficult journey - I don't want to blame my upbringing or media influence for my negative thinking anymore. Media, friends, family, etc has an influence to who you are, but YOU ARE THE ONE WHO ULTIMATELY DECIDES WHO YOU ARE AND WHO YOU WANT TO BE.

Occasionally I would think: "I want to be that hot girl that everyone envies". But most of the time I think: "I'm fat. I'm ugly". In the end? I kinda stayed chubby, and sometimes got so bloated and large that I couldn't believe myself (or the scale).

As a child, I kept seeing other children with nice school bags, nice bottles, and I would inevitably think: "I don't have that pretty bag/bottle. I'll go home and ask mum/dad to get it for me". How could I have been so ungrateful? I had a perfectly functional bottle/bag, which was relatively pretty as well.

No one in the world owes you anything, regardless of how unfortunate your life has been. I always expected people to treat me specially because I was the less-privileged middle child, because I was shy, because I had a temper. I had no right to ask that of people - I had to be grateful for the kindness and love they showed me.

I regret this the most: I have a wonderful grandma, who's over 80 years old, her memory and health - although still kicking - deteriorating. Every day she would ask us a million times whether we were hungry, and if we were she'd cook something for us. Usually I'd be annoyed, and show her a long face. Sometimes I'd complain loudly and hurt her feelings.

How many people wished they had a grandma who'd fuss over their well-being? And I just took it for granted. Don't get me wrong, she's still living with us, but I'm always afraid I'll wake up one day and she won't be out of the bed and watching television in the living room.

My currently-status-unknown boyfriend was the best thing that happened to me - same interests, and I fell head over heels in love with him. Perhaps it is just a passing phase, but I could imagine a future with him. He would usually be relatively busy, with various things.

All the things he did - I didn't see. I didn't see what he gave up for me. I didn't see how much I was actually interfering with him plans, but he accepted me anyway. I didn't see all the efforts he put into trying to make a future for us.

I kept resenting how little attention he paid to me. I resented every little thing that didn't matter. In the end, it manifested itself and now...

What if I was contented with what I had? What if I didn't complain about and resent so much? What if I were more happy with everything I had and was given? My life might be much better now.

Perhaps I watched a tad too much Hong Kong dramas - the characters always resented what they didn't have, and kept bringing it up again and again, until I unconsciously made it into my own mind set.

So, here's how I plan to change myself. I just clicked into a cookingwithdog video, which was made in 2007. Instead of complaining and being upset that the quality isn't as good as her more recent videos, I'll be happy that I learned how to make tendon (not the body part tendon, but a tempura rice bowl).

I'll also try to start being more grateful in life - grateful that I have a car which fuel is paid for by my mum; grateful for a nice comfortable bed to sleep in; grateful for having a complete family.

And as for the things that I want, I'll try thinking more of "I want to be the wife that makes other men envious of my husband", rather than "I'm useless". And I really mean it. I haven't read The Secret before, nor do I have the book or movie, but you could read Xiaxue's blog post (linked above) for a better picture.

Also, Xiaxue mentioned writing down your wishes (specified, if possible) on paper 10 times each day in order for it to come true. Supposedly you don't even have to believe in it. And be positive about it!

It's gonna be an uphill battle for me, but I really hope it turns out good in the end~

Monday, June 11, 2012

Singapore haul + food tripping

Having several relatives in Singapore, we always make a trip down every now and again. The things I look forward to the most? The food, and also the shopping. After conversion, a lot of the stuff are actually cheaper than if you get it in Malaysia. For example, Daiso (the famous 100Yen store) charges S$2 in Singapore, convert it to Malaysian Ringgit and you will have about RM4. In Malaysia, Daiso charges RM5.

Our favorite shop is the 3 for $10 shop in People's Park - all items, except those marked otherwise, are 3 items for $10. The items there are mostly souvenirs, i.e. keychains, mugs, magnets, display trinkets, etc. There are also accessories, wallets, and bags (target market are mostly women).

My pink maiko solar-powered doll which is now Bluetacked to my dashboard~

I got for myself a nodding solar-powered Maiko doll for my car. Since my car is basically empty, I thought I'd display my Japanese love with a not-so-authentic Maiko doll on the dashboard~

White strapless dress with black stripes - S$17.90

There's an H&M on Orchard Road, which apparently opened not too long ago. I know H&M as a trendy, young place to shop for apparel and accessories (correct me if I'm wrong). The place was practically jam-packed, with the fitting room and cashier line long as hell.

"You Don't Say" printed tank top by Alexis MacKenzie - S$24.90

There are two levels for women's apparel, and one on the top floor for men's apparel, if my memory serves me right. I got for myself a white with black stripes tube dress, and a loose printed tank top.

Not exactly the most things I've bought in a go, but it's more than I've bought on previous trips, which remind me that I have the May haul post to put up.

Now for the FOOD! There are a lot of unique food places in Singapore that I love, and they are the things I most look forward to.

Our first meal in Singapore was at the Old Hong Kong Tea House at Katong Village. This place is perfect for a small gathering, or just to have some dim sum, desserts, or drinks. The house recommendation is the milk tea, but I personally recommend the durian cream with pomelo and sago.

Sorry for the bad quality photo - I was trying out PicMonkey's new collage  function.
Delectable chicken cheese baked rice with curry sauce

We had lunch at Old Hong Kong (they have other restaurants, one in Novena Square), and I ordered a chicken cheese baked rice with curry sauce. This was seriously awesome - there was an abundance of the curry sauce, which wasn't too spicy or bland; the chicken slices were thick and tender~ I paired this meal with a lemon Coke.

Beautifully steamed fresh fish in teochew style - with fermented beans and tomatoes.
Refreshing authentic luohan longan drink which is not too sweet.

For dinner, we had seafood at Seng Kee on Changi Road. They specialize in black chicken soup and mee sua, but we had a different meal altogether. The highlights of the meal was the teochew-style steamed fish and the Sri Lanka crab cooked with salted egg. The meal was paired with a refreshing luo han guo with longan drink.

Salted egg Sri Lanka crab - S$80

I've never seen such a big crab before - the claw itself was almost as big as my hand, and was the equivalent of two rather meaty crabs (there was some misunderstanding between the staff, which I'd rather not mention). Although we all agreed that the shell was heavier than the flesh itself, but it was so sweet and juicy - literally.

Saizariya is actually a Japanese chain of Italian family-style restaurants.

The next day's dinner we went to a no-frills Italian restaurant at City Square Mall on Kitchener Road, somewhere near Mustafa. The prices of the food there is relatively cheap - ranging from S$4-8, I think. And it's worth every penny - the portions are relatively large, and you can't complain about the quality of the food given the prices. Even the escargots were priced at only S$5.80 per half dozen, which is about a third of the price in other restaurants.

Bacon and mushroom risotto - S$5.80

It was almost impossible to choose what to eat, so I ordered two main dishes separately. The first one is a bacon and mushroom risotto - I've never tried risotto, or at least don't remember eating risotto before and I was curious. It's basically a creamy rice, with LOTS of mushrooms and bacon. *thumbs up

Genovese pasta with bacon from the promotion menu - S$5.80

My next main dish was a Genovese spaghetti with bacon from the promo menu. It was basically spaghetti with pesto and bacon, and nothing much to shout about. For dessert, there were to main picks - tiramisu, or panna cotta. We ordered too late, and the panna cotta was gone, so we just ordered the tiramisu. It was delectable - smooth, creamy, with just the right amount of coffee and cocoa powder.

The third day's lunch was at Sik Wai Sin, a Chinese home-food restaurant on Geyland Road. I've never really been a fan of Chinese food, since I have it every day, and basically they all taste the same to me. This was different. We had a black chicken herbal soup, which is very good for health. Black chicken is renowned for its color and its nutritional value. As opposed to most Chinese soups I've had over the years, this was clear and "sweet", and not too oily.

We also had a minced pork steamed with salted fish, which is a very popular Chinese side dish. Instead of the usual ground pork that I get from my catered dinners, this pork was roughly chopped, which retained most of the bite of the meat. It wasn't too salty, yet the flavor of the salted fish penetrated the pork just enough to enhance its flavor.

We had two fish heads. Yes, two. They were cooked with fermented bean curd, and were AWESOME! Fish heads are very rich in collagen, given that you know how to eat it, and is great for maintaining skin elasticity. Be careful, though, you might accidentally get the fish eye (don't misunderstand, the eye is also full of nutrients, but it's a bit stomach-churning for me to eat one).

Delicious smooth "white" chicken

Our last dinner was at the all-time favorite Boon Tong Kee on East Coast Road. Boon Tong Kee is popular for their chicken rice, and we ordered some deliciously tender steamed "white" chicken.

Fried tofu - crispy on the outside, silky smooth on the inside~
Crispy fried prawns with deep fried egg batter as well as cereal. These prawns are HUGE!

The other highlights were the crispy tofu (soft silken tofu dredged in their special "crispy powder", and fried until crisp) and the crispy prawns (extremely large prawns dredged in a special egg batter and deep fried with rolled oats). The meal was ended with some delicious durian~

Found this while waiting for our Gong Cha order before we went to H&M.

My only regret was not having the delicious coffee ribs from Paradise Inn at Funan Mall, but a road-side raspberry ripple ice cream "burger" (a slab of ice cream sandwiched in bread) made up for it~ There are lots of ice cream stalls on Orchard Road, and most of them provide ice cream wedged in either wafers or bread slices, and both are equally delectable~

Saizeriya Ristorante e Caffe
City Square Mall
Kitchener Road

Seng Kee Restaurant
467 Changi Road

Boon Tong Kee
199 East Coast Road

Sik Wai Sin
287 Geylang Road

Old Hong Kong Tea House
86 East Coast Road
Katong Village

REVIEW: Za Liquid Eyeliner

The perfect "punk princess" eyeliner - black body with pink words and cap~

I bought this liquid eyeliner ages ago, but haven't gotten round to using it because my use of liquid eyeliner has decreased tremendously, and my old Revlon eyeliner miraculously stopped drying out.

This is what it says on the packaging:
The ultra-thin brush draws a smooth line with no deviations. Resists smudging, scuffing and fading. Creates fresh, long-lasting lines. 
  • Long Lasting Formula. 
  • Dermatologist-tested. 

I'm sorry to say that I can't give you the price, because it's been a really long time, but it was under RM20 from Watsons.

It comes vacuum sealed in a plastic bag, and the eyeliner itself comes in a black plastic pen-tube with a slight shimmer, with a pearly white-pink cap. The product name is printed in pink on the black body. The cap is enforced with a spring cap on the inside. It's only slightly shorter than the Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen, which I find just right for my hand size.

This eyeliner contains:
Water, butylene glycol, ammonium acrylates copolymer, acrylates copolymer, hyaluronic acid, soluble collagen, beheneth-30, aminomethyl propanol, simethicone, sorbitan laurate, sorbitan palmitate, hydrogenated palm glycerides, sorbitan trioleate, sucrose palmitate, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, black 2.

The tip is, as promised, super fine. It's even finer than the Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen tip. The tip consists of brush fibres, and is flexible and durable. Both thick and fine lines can be created, which is great for those who like to do creative eyeliner looks.

  • contains hyaluronic acid and collagen, which takes care of your skin
  • superfine tip
  • saturated true black ink
  • comes in simple, yet cute and elegant packaging
  • dries matte, with a slight sheen
  • water resistant when completely dry
  • long-lasting with minimal smudging
  • requires shaking before application
  • takes some time to dry after application

I took it on a test run on Wednesday. I applied it to a bare lid with nothing but some cream eye shadow, and I had to fill in the lash roots with a pencil eyeliner. It lasted for about 7 hours, and even lasted through a car-wash session (I tend to sweat like mad washing my baby).

Taken right after a 30-minute lap session in the pool~

I also tested it's water resistance at the pool. I usually swim with no goggles on, and that day I tried swimming with eyeliner and mascara. My mascara completely bled away, but the eyeliner stayed put, except for some of the parts where I accidentally rubbed after surfacing from the water. The crisp edge of the line was also unaffected.

Super-fine tip for super precise lines~

I've never had such a precise eyeliner before that this is actually amazing - I usually mess up my lines, especially on my left eye, but this eyeliner is so sharp that (with a very steady hand) just a couple of very minor tweaks here and there created the most perfect line I've ever drawn.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

May haul

Didn't get too many things in May...

Bottom left: pencil brush - RM5 (functions well enough so far); bottom right: fluffy eye shadow brush - RM10.

Firstly, two brushes (synthetic hair) from a campus bazaar. In total I only spent RM15 for both of them, and so far they work flawlessly. I finally got the fluffy shadow brush that I wanted, and the pencil brush.

I also got a Hello Kitty T-shirt (price unknown) from my aunt, which she purchased from Uniqlo in Hong Kong. To be honest, I don't like round-neck T-shirts which fit snugly to my neck and is straight at the waist, because it doesn't really help my shape too much. But the print is pretty~

I really think that's all for May.