Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow + Food Adventures of the Detoxed


honored to attended Benefit Singapore's first blogger's event ever: it was held in their office and we loved the office so much! cute, pink and girly. makes me feel ashamed of TVD's office :X we were introduced to a new brightening foundation: Hellow Flawless Oxygen Wow! :D the Benefit girls were adorable, all dressed up in pink wigs, and they even did a short skit for us!
 
the awesome Nuffies, Gabby and Jayne who attended the event together with me! :D teehee we went shopping at F21 sale after that! so disappointing cos the sales section wasn't very big. sad!

the foundation feels very light-weight and blends in really nicely to provide a light to medium coverage which is perfect for daily use :) i like it that there's SPF too so it protects from the sun at the same time! :D it also provides a matte finish, which makes it very convenient to use cos you don't need to set it off with any powder, though you can still do so if you wish to :)

Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow will be launching at Benefit counters island-wide in April, retailing for SGD$54! :)

***


act 一个 chio. hahahaha :D really light makeup but with the Hellow Flawless foundation! natural is the way to go. i left the pictures unedited too, no airbrushing or photoshopping my blemishes away!

***

so it's post-detox day 3 and i have possibly already undone half the good i did while on my detox hahaha first up for lunch, i had a lunch date with the Nuffies and we had super decadent and high-class Abalone Laksa at Hotel Re!'s Re!Fill restaurant! cute retro themed boutique hotel!
the place was practically empty, but then again the location is damn ulu. 

a bowl of Abalone Laksa that comes with 3 prawns, 1 scallop and 1 small abalone costs $18.80 usually but there's some 1-for-1 promo going on, so inclusive of GST and service charge one bowl cost like $11. over-priced laksa much? at least it was good laksa.. super gao gravy that's especially shiok after you throw in the extra sambal chilli that's served with every portion. and the little abalone was really quite tasty! worth a try if you want an old local favorite with a twist! but give me my $3 laksa any day!

Re!Fill Restaurant
175A Chin Swee Road, 
 Lobby Hotel Re! @ Pearl's Hill
Tel: +65 6827 8228 
Daily 7am – 11pm

***

 followed by dinner at night with my family at Long Beach King...

deep fried fish something in some sauce (??!!)

deep-fried scallop in a yam ring with banana inside! yummyyyyyy.

prawnssss :D~

hands down my absolute FAVOURITE. deep fried mantou with chilli crab sauce!!! 

aaand crabs... i haven't had crabs for the longest time!!! (possibly since i got my braces put)

Long Beach King Seafood Restaurant
220 Stadium Boulevard 
Tel: +65 6344 7722
Daily 11am–3pm, 5pm–1.15am

yes, my stomach is just about to burst for the love of delicious food. this makes me wonder (now that i'm no longer on the detox fast) how i actually managed to not eat for 7 days, when i love food SO much!  and i have more foodie dates all lined up with various people already!!!

okay, it's time to bring out the running shoes, and get MOVING. but right now, i'm just too full!

(ಥ﹏ಥ)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breaking the Fast!

HELLO!
finally completed the 7-day Neera Detox fast (you can read more about it here cos i've blogged about it previously already) i was doing with YZ officially, this morning!!!
*throws confetti in the air*

and the best part? stepped on the weighing scale and saw this:


:D :D :D

lowest weight i've seen on my weighing scale for a really long time!!! shioks. skinny people, do not judge. i've been 53-56kg for the longest time, and seeing a 51.2kg feels really good! :D even if it's just cos of losing the water weight/food weight or whatever. haha :X

the 7-day detox doesn't sound as intimidating as it actually is, because once you get used to not taking in solid food, the Neera drink keeps me full most of the time, and being conscious that i am not supposed to eat anything helps me curb those cravings that i'd normally give in to.

during the detox, it's hard when you go to bed at night feeling hungry, but one of the best parts of doing the detox is waking up in the morning and feeling good about yourself! definitely seeing the flatter tummy and sharper face, as well as looking a little slimmer generally. even my maid commented that i look slimmer woohoo! #missionaccomplished

the results on YZ are even more obvious cos he's been jogging everyday the past week! his face doesn't look so chubby now as compared to the past few months and his waistline is definitely smaller. however, you wouldn't believe how much you start fantasizing about food when you haven't tasted solid food for a few days, LOL... towards the end, we were so eager for the 7 days to be over and started planning and scheduling when and what to eat once the detox was over!

technically, you're supposed to break the fast with very light food that isn't taxing on your stomach, as it hasn't been digesting food for the past 7 days already, so on the 7th day, i did a fruit juice/fruit fast, and we planned our own "healthy" steamboat for the 1st day post-detox! :D :D :D

waited for YZ to finish his photoshoot for Giant, cos they pay in vouchers, and he got like 900 dollars plus worth of vouchers!!! can shop for groceries like siao with 900 dollars please! super famished already cos his shoot ended late and we were reserving our stomach for our celebratory meal together :D


it's shopping time at Giant Hypermart!

showing off all the vouchers he got. quite good eh, he got almost one thousand dollars worth of vouchers for a 6 and a half hour shoot! D:

$$$$$$$$

we went to the branch at Parkway, which is really very gigantic! we spent a really long time wandering through the aisles to look for the products we wanted!

got a bunch of groceries for our steamboat, as well as some snacks... :X

so much food, and we only used ONE $50 voucher!

yay. hehe. don't need to pay for anything :D

happy me! can't wait to get back to start preparing and eating!

back at YZ's to prepare our sumptuous steamboat! look at that insane amount of vegetables and greens. we got cabbage, watercress, tomato, corn and carrots!!!

and this chicken broth by Heinz is pretty good for a quick steamboat fix :)

oh-so-healthy ingredients for our steamboat! we got fish, mushrooms, tofu, scallops, and this golden mushroom solo thingy that i insisted on having. it's damn nice! it's like a fishball with mushroom/meat filling. super shiok.

good thing we didn't have to wait too long for the soup to start boiling cos it was almost 5pm already and our steamboat was supposed to be lunch! yayness!

itadakimasu!!

and it started pouring heavily 20 minutes into our meal. lagi more shiok! cold, rainy weather is the best kind of weather for a steamboat!

大功告成, we successfully completed our 7-day detox! and our steamboat tasted so yummy too!!!! all the veggies were so sweet and it really felt very healthy!!! ^^

but so much for preparing a healthy meal for post-detox,
guess what we ended up eating after steamboat....


we polished off an entire bag of chips from our "store" after all the effort we took to make a healthy steamboat meal! =_= LOL..

#dietfail

food has never tasted so awesome after not having eaten for one week! so, it's okay. will continue to watch the diet... maybe after we're done satisfying all the food cravings we had during detox. haha! i hope that feeling of waking up feeling skinny (even if it's psychological) can help motivate me somehow!

***

so i woke up at 6am today because my parents' alarm clock wouldn't start ringing, and i spent the entire morning/afternoon replying emails and editing photos for S100! super productive for once, which feels good! i am really SO excited for this 100th collection! it's amazing that we've reached our 100th collection already, and i can't thank all the customers and supporters of TheVelvetDolls enough, especially those who's seen us through from our early "pond photoshoot" days to now!!!

am glad that i no longer have to edit/photoshop myself for TVD photos wahaha! i remember how much i used to complain about it! at least now TVD has chio models so editing/photoshopping aint such a chore! :D so grateful that we are really blessed with lovely models, great staff and pixies who are ever-enthusiastic when it comes to lending a hand, a mad awesome supplier who's always trying to solve all our issues for us, fellow blogshop owners who are around to commiserate together, and last but not least wonderful and patient customers who are super accommodating and supportive! :D

:')

really hoping that everyone will be loving this collection as much as i do! all the previews are uploaded on the Facebook page already, if you haven't checked them out!

i'm adding quite a few items to my wardrobe from Series 100, and one of them is the adorable birdie printed tank! :D kept it in the Mauve color, since i look better in pink tones. paired it simply with highwaisted shorts and the satchel in Burgundy! i'd already kept and wore the Swing with Flair Pintucked Dress in Seagreen (entry here!) as well as the maxi skirt that i posted OTDs of in the previous entry! :X

spot my fat lazy dog in the background!

out of topic, but i love how fluffy and nice my hair looks, lol.

and now, off to bed early so that i can wake up super early again tomorrow and channel my productivity in the wee hours of the morning!!! :) oh, and planning a xiaolongbao escapade with YZ for lunch already. hohoho! next on our foodie list is buffet at Sukiya! all our good ole favorites! we are appreciating our food very much now!

goodnight, all!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mostly Margutti: thoughts on being a chorister + Recent OTDs

this is a rare entry: there's actually more text than pictures!

i get quite a few reactions whenever i mention that i'm heading off for a rehearsal, or when i mention that i sing in a choir. the most common question posed is probably something like, "oh, do you sing in a church choir?"

it's probably pretty rare in Singapore to hear of adults singing in a non-profit, community choir purely out of the love for music, but that's what we do in the SYC Ensemble Singers (i know, it's rather a mouthful) which started out as the Singapore Youth Choir many years ago, but we've now ditched the "Youth Choir" part to the abbreviation SYC, because.. heh, a huge majority of the choristers are now no longer youths! :P er hem. including me of course =.=
 
so we spend an evening and an afternoon every week, braving our way through sheets of music, mostly contemporary, challenging works from living composers.

and no, we don't just sing sterile sounding church hymns (which is another common misconception) 
 
we also tour regularly abroad (in the past 4 years, i've been to Manado, Japan, Italy and Poland) and i am super looking forward to this year's trip: we're heading to Torino, Italy in July for an international Atelier (workshop) and it sounds like it's going to be SUPER exciting!
 
one of the most highly respected figures in the choral scene, also our conductor Jen. to the unknowing, a conductor's job may look like its simply easy waving of the hands, but it rarely is, anything but guiding the soul and heartbeat of the music with precise gestures, expressions and body language. this art is so subtle, i doubt anyone can profess to master it, but i'd say we're doing a pretty amazing job with Jen spearheading us :)

how did i chance upon the SYC? i remembered having watched a concert years back when i was in secondary school, and although i had no impression of the concert at all, when i thought of a choir i could join, the SYC was the first to come to mind. and so i googled for an email address, sent in an email, said a silent prayer and kept my fingers crossed.

when i joined the SYC, i had no friends. i simply joined because i missed choral singing so much, having done it for close to 8 years of my school life (yes... i am a geek!! i joined the choir in primary school, followed by secondary school!) my school choirs were nothing spectacular, in fact, i think they were pretty crappy. haha! but if you've ever sang in a school choir before, you know how it feels like. making music together is a joy.

and now, this joy is amplified on so many more levels when being a part of the SYC :) the people in there are amazingly talented and musically gifted, i was so worried that i wouldn't even be able to cope with the insanely quick pace and ungraspable music. it's crazy!

the best analogy would probably be something like being thrown into the sea and not knowing how to swim. i can barely sight-read for nuts, i've had no prior music training and it takes me about 10 seconds to figure out what note is printed on my score (counting upwards from Middle C or downwards from High C) -____- i've never been in a choir that sight-sang a piece after immediately picking up the score and plonking a note on the piano. almost started panicking then and there.

for some reason, i persevered on with the music that sounded so strange and incomprehensible to my ears, showing up for rehearsals twice a week, and as time passed, week after week, rehearsal after rehearsal, my ears started to make sense of the music, my eyes started to understand those foreign gestures and it was the most glorious sensation, of proper, music-making. 

it wasn't just me trying to persevere on, i'm sure the choir was trying to persevere in the act of having taken me in too! we had some difficult moments, just like in every relationship, when both parties (myself and the choir) had doubts and uncertainties about each other. 

but they persevered. i persevered. WE persevered. and then magic happened, and somehow, everything just fell right into place, and i am eternally grateful for that.

it's not just about the singing: being in the SYC has completed my life in such unfathomable ways. i found lifelong friends, companions, buddies. (my three amazing girls!) i travelled and took 18 hour plane rides to satisfy my wanderlust. i sang with other beautiful voices to captivated audiences in Italy, in Poland, to standing ovations, from the cold seasides to fantastically gorgeous churches. i experienced so much, got to meet like-minded individuals from all over, all bonded together by this common love of singing, of music.

i was privileged to sing the compositions of gifted composers, even more privileged to meet and have those very composers take the choir under their wing to create stupendously astounding music.

Mostly Margutti was performed at SOTA last week, and it was an intensely thrilling and tiring experience all at the same time! we had almost daily rehearsals leading up to the concert, with the amazing composer Margutti himself. being under a new conductor is always awkward and shy at the beginning, but we soon warmed up to cries of "Seigneur!" "Domine!" "De Profundis!" "Aurora!" be it French, Latin or German, we are unstoppable, we are invincible. (even if it comes out sounding like Singlish.. oops.)

the stage lights go on, and we are no longer individuals, but one body of sound, dissonances blending into perfect fifths. we soar into the heavenly kingdoms with sincere, heartfelt prayers, then plunge into the murky depths of darkness and despair. and when the stage lights dim to a hushed silence followed by thundering applause, gratitude. and joy.

pre-concert:
 
together, we flaunt off our shiny big foreheads. just for you, SYC.
 
in a flurry of making-up: the redder the lipstick, THE BETTER.
 
two of the precious friends, made for life.
 
the ritualistic act of making-up: we draw our concert faces on the same way we prepare our souls and hearts for music-making. 
 
:D music making buddies
 
Marissa and i (:
 
Huijun, Fish and spot the Angela
 
scary faces!!!

 and post-concert! newfound friends from the Margutti Atelier choir. we are always happy to make new friends :D
 
even happier to eat, eat, eat!
 
cheers to a smashing concert and post-concert supper!
 
now this is what i call communal dining :D
 
the man himself: Corrado Margutti! he is oh so charming and his voice will melt your soul.
expect the unexpected, serenading and crooning to unsuspecting passerbys and fellow supper-ers
the girls who are always there for me ❤ 

so yes. i figured i owe the SYC one blog entry, after 4 years of being in the choir. hahaha. even if you, my dear reader, may not really be so interested in this aspect of my life. i would write more, because i feel like i've barely touched base with this already wordy post. but some things just can't be expressed with mere permutations and combinations of just twenty-six letters.

thank you for having me, SYC.


PS. fresh blood always welcome! you can email in to enquiries@syc.org.sg :D

***

okay, sorry for boring out those who have absolutely no interest in my choir life. heh :P

something of the usual: outfit photos! this time round with the Cambridge Satchel in Burgundy, 13" :D this size is awesome but doesn't fit much more than a wallet, phone, small camera and small miscellaneous items!

first outfit: a lace top with Candy Empire HWS in Smurf Blue ;D i think the burgundy really holds the outfit together, cos the mint + smurf blue combi would look rather boring on its own!

the lace top is currently in the process of being manufactured for TVD, teehee. we made some changes though, such as adding an inner lining cos it's see through D: and the Denim Empire shorts are gonna be restocked for S100's collection in light and dark wash! :D

2nd outfit! oohhhh i am so in love with the new maxi skirt that's gonna be in S100 too!! matched it with a floral bralet from Topshop that has lovely prints ❤ the skirt is madly comfy and so flattering! probably gonna keep it in at least two colors :D i love how maxis elongate and slim the silhouette!

super excited for S100. planning in progress!!! fingers crossed for an A-MA-ZING collection!!! :)