Monday, August 30, 2021

Easy Snack Recipe to Share :)

Easy and yummy :)

As some of you have already known, I work part time inside the kitchen these days to fill my free days since the beginning of the year. I treated it as if I am doing the internship like any school students, just like during my school time around two decades ago. 

To tell you the truth, ssshhhhh..... it was not a difficult job to do. However, thanks to my high initiative level, I could learn many things from my two Senior Chefs, whom both are much younger than me (in fact, I am usually the oldest in the team, although not always, hahahaha....)

We are entitled with free staff meals given by the company during our working day (lunch, dinner, or both). And I feel very fortunate for being able to taste so many delicious food from various kitchens surrounding us without having to pay a single cent. Most of them are made with good quality of food and prepared by many experienced chefs. 

Usually I will take heavy meal for my lunch break (pasta, rice, soba, with meat and/ or vegetables). So usually at night, I will take lighter and fast one like yoghurt, bread, soup, and sometimes, I have to take nothing during busy nights - as we did not even have time to rest.

The company where I work sells Italian food. And they too sell simple side dishes like small-cut pizza bread, some with salami, mushroom, garlic bread and so on. The ingredients used are very simple, but they taste very nice!!!

Before that, not many people realised it. But lately, these side dishes have become significantly famous and the sales increases a lot!!! These days we have to prepare the batch almost daily compared to once per two or three days from the past. 

Here in my blog post, I want to share with you the trick in preparing such easy snack dish that can comfort you, especially when you do no feel like having a heavy meal. 

As you can see the photo above, I will share with you the recipe to make a simple snack bites using baguette (or whatever bread that is available at your side), butter, egg, mayonnaise, fresh avocado, tomatoes, salt and pepper. 

If you use baguette, you can cut it into any length that you want. I cut it shorter so that it can be shared with many people at home. After that, cut it open into half so that you can put the ingredients easily on top and bite them easily. 

If you use normal bread that has already been so thin, you can cut them into two triangle or two squares, according to your wish. 

FYI, you can store the unused baguette inside the fridge for few days. Do not afraid that it will become hard because after heating it with butter, it will become soft and nice. 

For the bread, you can heat up your pan with little butter (medium heat) and put both sides of the bread until a bit brown (too much butter will make it soft and oily). You can use your fingers to press on the bread to ensure all surface is heated instead only at the sides. 

Next, boil the egg. Many of you may boil the egg before but using "agaration" to judge the timing and all. Sometimes the egg is not fully cooked. Sometimes the skin is hard to peel or stick to it. Sometimes the egg is broken and cannot be used. So here, let me share your the tips and tricks :)

First, boil the water. While waiting for it to boil, you can prepare a bowl with water and fill it with ice cubes (to ensure water to turn cold). I chose this way over running water to save water. 

Second, after water boils, add salt into the pot. Then put the number of eggs you want. Set the timer to 12 minutes. If you do not have a timer you can set it on your mobile phone. When time is up, take a spoon, scoop the eggs out from the pot and put it into the ice cold water that you prepared earlier. Only the eggs are in, not the hot water. Mix it and leave it around 5-10 minutes, and you are ready to peel it. Before peel, first knock the egg surface all over. This way, you will peel them very easy and fast. You will notice that the egg is firm and hard too!!!

Chop the eggs into smaller pieces, and put into another bowl. Add mayonnaise, salt and coarse black pepper. Mix them well and voila! One filling is done!!!

Last one, the avocado and tomato mixture. Here in Singapore we have accessed mostly with small avocados and the price is quite expensive. So I do not use it much, only one or two, but if you want, you can put as many as you like. I need to learn from my Chef on how to remove the avocado meat in tact, as recently we have to serve one of the dishes to our customers. Hahaha....

Use small knife, cut it into two (the longer side), and when the two lines meet (as the seed is in the middle), move the two half to left and right so that it will move out from the seed. Use the knife to remove the seed, but please be careful not to slice your finger!!!

After that, take out a spoon. Hold the half avocado with one hand, and use the spoon to go underneath from the right to left side, make sure all meat is scooped well with it, then remove from the skin. Put the meat into the chopping board and remove the meat from another half. Cut them into smaller pieces and put it into another bowl. 

Take out a tomato and cut it into small pieces, mix it together with the avocado. Add a salt and black pepper, and olive oil too, if you want. 

Then it is all ready!!!

It is fun, trust me! :)

Put them all on the dining table. Take the bread, spread the egg mayo first before the avocado, and you can bite out right away!!! It is great when sharing it with family and friends at any time. You can have them with wine, champagne, tea, or even beer and chips.

To be honest, even this sounds simple, I was too lazy or too stupid to make it before. Now since I have learnt it through my experience at work, it really makes me confident and feel that even simple, this skill can benefit many people, especially my loved ones whom I share my food and recipes with. Hahahaha.....

So, wish you all good luck in trying this, and give me feedback on this blog comments if you too benefit from it ;) Happy trying!!!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Fate

Fate (IG: rimareyka.writes)

Still related to my new passion, crystal love, I would like to share my experience and feelings with you here. You know, just like us, a human being, crystal too, required fate to be with us. Why I told you this? Well, it is because there are too many crystal out there that is looking for the owner.

I bought them online and offline. When getting them online, sometimes I could not choose as the platform was to sell to mass demand. So usually the seller will show few good ones then sell the rest altogether to everyone. And when your name appears on their list, it will depend on the speed of your Internet. The faster the speed, the earlier your name would appear on their end. And hence, usually, the better quality will be given first (although not always).

So, it happened many times that when we received the actual goods after days or weeks later, it turned out the quality we received could be satisfying and could also be unsatisfying. Nevertheless, it was ours and could not change. Unless, if there was significant breakage on it. 

My friend often conveyed their dissatisfaction when the quality they got was not what they expected to be. But you could not please everyone with that kind of selling system.

I could only told them, "It was fate ba. What is yours, is yours." And crystal is a natural thing. They come in many different forms, just like us, a human being. When we were born, we could not choose our look, as it would usually follow the genes of our parents. Some came from defect gene. And what we could do, was just to live with it. Unless if you are willing to go through aesthetic operation and make your look just like those Korean actor and actress.

The other way to get crystal as what you desired, was to find those seller that cater to one-to-one customer basis, be it online and offline. Online can be finding representative who will shop on your behalf (usually they will charge additional percentage on top of the item price), can be through online platform, like carousel, and offline can be purchase your crystal at the crystal shop (usually the seller will sell it at more expensive price as they do it for a living). That way, you will get your item at better quality, but more expensive price. 

And today, I just received my crystal that I purchased from online platform. By right, I should have received the item according to the picture shown by the seller. However, to my surprise, the level of discrepancy of what was posted and what was received was so much different. Check out the following photo below.

Top: posted Below: received

I ordered this dragon turtle red phantom. The above 2 photos were what the seller posted. But what I received was the below photos. Could you tell me, were I too fussy? Or you could also spot the differences???

The above was red phantom and what I received was more like red hematoid. Although both were red, but it was just different. I messaged the seller about it and she insisted that she only had one of its kind (dragon turtle). Therefore, I took the photos and showed it to her. 

Actually, although the inclusion in the crystal was not much, but the dragon turtle was full of rainbow. And I am the rainbow lover (be it real rainbow and the crystal rainbow). And when I sat down at my sofa, the sunlight from behind lighted the dragon turtle that I put beside me. The rainbows that appeared inside its body was really surprised me!!! For me, it was much better than the initial photos she showed (the one that looks more like red phantom).

It was like, hey, I fell in love to it for almost immediately and could feel the fate that existed between us. Wow!!! I was just dumbfounded and wanted to share my feelings with you all here. 

I forgave the seller right away and told her to check again at her side if she can find the initial pictures. I do not mind to purchase it again with the same price. 

Until now, I have brought many crystals into my house. They occupied one corner of my living room facing the Buddha altar. I love them so much and hope they can stay happily here together with us. 

Fyi, for those who do not know what dragon turtle is and what benefits it brings - "A dragon turtle (Lóngguī) is a legendary Chinese creature that combines two of the four celestial animals of Chinese mythology: the body of a turtle with a dragon's head is promoted as a positive ornament in Feng Shui, symbolizing courage, determination, fertility, longevity, power, success, and support."

Well, I hope they love us back too and together we stay happily ever after.... :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

A Little Reflection

Are you wasting your time???

It has been a while since my last post. How are you doing guys? Hope everyone is doing good and blessed with good health. Covid has changed so many things in us but hope that it will not let us being defeated by it

I have heard many bad news for the past 2 months of who have had it and who could not manage to survive. The death happened to anyone, be it young or old. I can not imagine how the related person have to face it and go on with their life.

This will only be a short post as when I looked at the quote above, I had a sudden inspiration to write this. 

Ok, alright. Because of Covid, we can not travel. And well, I can not travel. So I have plenty of time to spend. Naturally, I should spend it doing something like working, back to workforce life. 

I can choose to go back doing the office job, fully use the qualification I attained years ago and get the salary I deserve, or doing something else, something I love doing, something my passionate call me for, but the return may not be high or enough. Well, for some people, money is never be enough right?

Since a year ago, I had chosen to work part time, a job that many people generally are capable to do, whether you have experience or not. And fate brought me to land to another place, which is more suitable for my liking and personality. 

And starting February, apart from my part time job, I had started to pursue my interest related to something I used to love, but not die-hard loving, which was crystal. 

I was mesmerised by the beauty of the nature. They were nature too, built in over million and billion years naturally. And they were believed to carry many positive benefits with them. 

When I started my second part time job, I often felt unease. It might be due to a new place, and also the nature of the job that needed me to deal with items that could harm me, such as: knife, cans, slicing machine, hot pots and pans, hot water, oven, and so on. 

Bruises and cut wounds took turn tattooing my parts of body every week. Actually, it was something that I could avoid, but somehow, it happened. So I started wearing crystal to work: a pair of earrings, necklace (that I hid inside my shirt), and 2 bracelets (one left and one right - they were put in my pockets when working).

Somehow I could feel the energy from it. They might not prevent me from getting wound and blisters, but they helped me in keeping myself calm when it happened. 

It was somehow giving me calm effect, believed that they were there to protect me, give me strength and confidence, calm me down when it was busy or angry, and they too, helped me in clearing the misunderstanding, encouraging me to speak up what my heart was saying, and at the end, won the heart of my colleagues. 

You may or may not believe, but I personally feel it inside me and what change it has brought me into.

Both part time job and crystal interest may not give me enough money to live by. In fact, every month I spent most of my salary to purchase the crystal. But anyhow, I still feel that it is better than taking the full time office job that would not make me happy because the motivation would be to earn bigger money, but not because I like the nature of my job. 

So since it is part time, I do not work every day. One week, I may work 2 to 4 days only. The rest of the time, I spend it to engage myself in buying crystal (physical and online), getting design inspiration, learning how to do it, making it, and so on. This way, I can use my creative side in making DIY crystal bracelet too upon the buyer request.

For now, my sisters are my greatest supporters. Few close friends are also supporting me too. To be frank, I do not earn much from it. Because I am happy enough that they too believe in the goodness from it. Just as long it can cover the cost, that is enough. 

So going back to the quote above, I just want to tell myself, and to confirm it, that there is no rules that I must work office job, earn lots of money, in order to call myself living my life in decent way. There are still many other choices that I can make (while I am still given that choice), and still call it living my life according to my wish, my passion, my love, and then work out with the little money that I earn. 

Most important, keep my health (both physically and mentally) in good state by developing positive thought as much as possible, spread good things around to people surrounding me, live stress-free life (the more you earn, the more you attach your life style with it), learn how to balance (when to buy and when to stop), use my other talent in good way (in this case, my creative side), and just be myself. Be happy and content with everything, and never compare my life with other people. 

With this post, I hope you can reflect into what you are currently doing in your life too. Whether you are living your life according to what you want, whether you can fulfil your dreams or on the way into it, and so on. Always remember, there is no right and no wrong, but it is better if you can give yourself a chance to follow what your heart is saying. Wish you all a great day ahead!!! Stay safe and take care!!!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Life back with glasses

Life back with glasses (Pic source: Google.com)

I started wearing glasses since I was in Primary 5. During teenager time, I found wearing the glasses so troublesome and inconvenient. I had broken many of it due to the lack of my gentleness. Especially when I used to practise Tae Kwon Do during my secondary school time. I found it hindering my practise and when I had to remove it during competition, I could not see my opponent well and was at a losing side.

My eldest sister was the first who wore it and I had hard time to convince my mother to get one pair for myself because it was expensive. Beside purchasing the lens, I also had to purchase its solution to wash it before sleep every night.

After having it, I was having hard time when I tried putting it into my eyes. My eyes were not used to accepting the new object to stick onto it. Many times I ended up losing it into the drain as I usually tried wearing it at the sink, looking myself in front of the mirror that was located on top of it. My mother was angry but had no choice to purchase the replacement for me. 

It has been more than 8 months now that I gave up using the contact lens. I had been seeing the world with the help of it for more than 2 decades. Whenever I travelled, I had to bring a pair or two spare lens, in case I lose it accidentally, together with bottles of solutions water. 

It really helped me a lot and brought me with convenience until last year, when I felt my eyes could not see clearly even after wearing it. At first, I thought I was having 'old people's eyes' as I could not read small letter with my lens on. Then because of Covid, I could not purchase it from my hometown (as it was much cheaper than to get it here in Singapore). 

But even with the balance of lens that I had, I just could not read well while wearing it. So I decided to make a new pair of glasses last August. It turned out that it was not because of 'old people's eyes', but the measurement of the lens I purchased might not working well for eyes with high level of astigmatism.

I got you!!! (Pic source: Google.com)

When I worked at my first part-time job, I was telling myself to wear glasses despite the inconvenience because my job was dealing with reading the orders through the computerised ordering sheet and monitor too. It was a fast pace job so I could not risk myself from making wrong order or preparing it slow just because I could not read clearly. 

Fortunately, I found out that most of the part timer there (who mostly were students), more than 80% was wearing glasses too (as a result of studying, looking at mobile phone, and/ or looking at computer screen too much). So I felt that I was in the same category, and I suddenly felt young too, just like them!!! (that was why too that I kept my hair long :P long hair and spectacle = student look) Hahahahaha.... XD

It has been 8 months now my life back with glasses. Yes, it still feels inconvenient for having to wear it wherever I go, but I do not have to remove lens and wash it every night before sleeping, after having such a long day. I could just put the glasses on my side table, turn off the light, and fall asleep right away. 

I do not have to feel dryness on my eyes too while staying long inside the air-conditioned room, or inside the plane. I save money from buying bottles of solution water. I can change different style of glasses with cheaper cost and lighter lens with the increase of competitors and advanced technology. 

Glasses could also protect my eyes from the splash of oil and/or hot water while working in the kitchen, from dust while cycling and walking on the road. 

Yes, I need these glasses too :P

Well, I guess everything happens for a good reason, if only you want to find those heaps of good reasons. So, I finally let my eyes to rest from the lens and hope it gets healthier as I grow older :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Unwanted incident

Accident happened!!! (IG: rimareyka.writes)

It has been more than 2 months since my last post here. Last month my time was occupied mostly with my new part time job. Even though it was only on part time basis, I usually worked at least 4 days per week. Besides enjoying what I do, I enjoy working with my colleagues. So far we could work well together as a team.

Lack of manpower has always been the main problem they face due to the inconvenience location and lack of transportation during night time. That was why I would try to work whenever I could in order to lighten up their job. 

For the past 2 weeks I have been resting at home due to the accident that happened just minutes before going back time. One food order required me to slice the meat using the slice machine and it took only a second to make me staying at home for weeks. 

That night it was supposed to be a happy night because one of the full time staff was going to take long leave (finally after 9 months of work!) and I had already planned to work when he was not around. It was also the night when another part timer was working on her last day too!

That was why it was called accident when unwanted thing happened. And yes, my hand was slipping from the meat and the left corner of my point finger was sliced by the machine. Haiz....

I know that there were many threats or safety issues would happen while working inside the kitchen, such as: burning (from hot oil, hot water, oven, pan, etc.), cutting fingers, falling due to slippery floor, and many more. It happened to all of us due to the nature of our work.

Within 2 months, I had experienced fingers burning from hot tray that came out from oven, cut on my finger and nail while cutting vegetable, skin scratched from sharp things, and so on. But usually it recovered in just few days. 

Just weeks before, my full time staff cut his finger while slicing meat using the machine. That time I saw the fresh wound right after the incident and I told myself to be extra careful when handling the machine. Who knew my turn came not long after that. But my cut was much more serious than his, which required me to see the A&E department right after work and made me unable to work for more than 2 weeks. 

First dressing

The first 2 nights I felt like living in hell. I was awaken from my sleep by the pain from my hand. The nurse wrapped my hand tightly (and not only the finger) in order to stop the bleeding, which caused me not able to fold my fingers onto my palm. My next dressing appointment was in two days time due to the public holiday in between. So I had to keep my whole hand straight and immovable at whole time. It was really really really suffering!!!

And I was not aware that other parts of the finger were affected too by the incident. The pain that I felt was really unbearable. Even after taking painkiller, it required more than an hour until I could feel the ease of the pain. 

At the whole moment I was crying with no sound (it was 5.30 am in the morning and I had only slept for 2 hours, and my hubby was sleeping soundly, feeling very tired after accompanying me from the hospital until 2.30am). 

I chanted, as if I was haunted by unwanted soul. I was asking for forgiveness to anyone whom I made suffered before as I believed that the pain that I felt was the result of my bad karma from the past (be it this life and from past life). I thanked SB too for this to happen because I deserved it and it would be a good reminder for me not to harm anyone (be it purposely and accidentally) by words, thought, and actions. 

I had to go to polyclinics few times for the dressing which was better done by the nurse and at the same time, could help me checking the wound condition. Blisters appeared on the other side of the same finger few days later, which I had no idea how come it appeared. 

I had to protect my finger from my movements (could not carry heavy thing), keeping it dry (could not do anything that involved washing), and keeping it straight most of the time. Water retention was there too making my finger looked giant and swollen. I had to depend on my other fingers to write and do things. It was suffering not being able to fold the finger into clench for long time. It made my point finger turning into numb. I could not imagine the pain that people had to suffer when they were bedridden for long period of time. 

Love you dear Laogong and thank you :)

Fortunately I have my dear hubby who helped me for almost everything during this period of time. It included helping me to wash my hair once every 2 days. He is so sweet and lovely, isn't he???

I could not do any housework too. Therefore I spent my time watching Korean drama and other things that did not require me using much of my hand. 

I felt bad for my full time staffs as I could not come to work when they needed me. The accident was really happening at the wrong time. Luckily the full time staff still managed to take his long leave and his partner managed to handle with whatever staffs they had. 

It really takes some time for this finger to recover. It took me more than 10 days for the wound to become dry. I only dared to let it unwrapped today. Even after it has turned dry, I still need time to let the finger to adjust so it can work like before.

First, the numbness. I have to move it more often by starting doing light job like cutting, writing, pressing, holding, opening thing, etc. Only after that, I will start to carry thing and gain some strength as my job required me to have a strong hands and fingers. Hopefully it will get back to normal by the end of this week. Let it be a lesson so that other staffs and I could be much more careful next time during our work. 

Nothing lasts forever, be it good and bad (Pic source: Google.com)

And from this incident, I want to thank everyone, especially to the Manager, colleagues, and family members at home for their care and understanding, but most of all to my dear hubby who has taken care of me during my bad times and being there when I needed him. Thank you, thank you, and thank you everyone!!! Hope it will never happen again to anyone and I can go back to workplace soon! Take care everyone and I hope all of you are in good health and life full of love, luck, wealth, and happiness!!! :)

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Change Amidst the Rough Time

Change is a way of life (Pic source: Google.com)

"When I  did no go to work, I had a walk from my home to the TV Station in the morning. The wind was big, so nice and comfortable."

One of the elder workers from my previous job kept uttering the same sentences over and over again after she came back from her medical leave. I guessed, that was the syndrome that happened to human once we got old.

As I walked out from my new working place last night, the place was really windy that required me to put on my wind breaker.

It happened that my new working place was located just around that local TV Station area (what a coincidence!). It was very far from my house (it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach there one way).

"Since you walked there, did you see any (local) movie stars?" 

That was another question raised by another auntie to that elder worker. And she said, unfortunately no. 

However, in the morning on my first day to work, as I passed by the campus (I did not even know there was such campus available for acting!), I saw one famous local actor walking on my opposite direction. With his white hair, he greeted the Chinese New Year wishes to the man who walked in front of me. He even removed his mask a while to ensure the person knew who he was. 

Some of Mark Lee movies (Pic source: Google.com)

I knew him, but forgot his name. Therefore I was keeping quiet as I walked and did not do anything (like waving hands or asking to take photo etc.) Then I quickly searched for his name in Google and found out. He was Mark Lee (known as Lee Kwok Huang), a Singaporean comedian, actor, television host and film director. He had produced and starred many local movies in Singapore and I has watched many of them too. 

Wow!!! What a day! The Aunty walked for so many days and did not see any stars even once, but I met one on my first working day! Hahaha... Maybe it was a good sign for a new beginning *grin *grin

So yes, I had started yet another chapter of working life since yesterday. The kueh lapis job had just over last Friday and was ended with dinner. I felt getting better at doing it by now (maybe the increasing number of years and experiences made my confidence level grew higher).

As I mentioned before, I wanted to share with you about my new working place. First, the location was in One-North area. It was a subzone and business park, developed by JTC Corporation for the R&D and high technology cluster, comprising biomedical sciences, infocomm technology (ICT) and media industries (Source: Wikipedia).

Info on Mediapolis (Pic source: Wikipedia)

And the exact location of my working place was at building called Alice@Mediapolis

"Right in the heart of Mediapolis, ALICE@MEDIAPOLIS is a business park created for startups and as a base for established organisations. It offers startup spaces, shared media facilities, flexible work-live-play-learn spaces, a childcare centre, and retail outlets. 

The Deliveroo Food Market is also housed in the building, featuring 10 kitchens and a 40-seater dining space, all based on a fully automated ordering system."

(Source: Wikipedia)

Deliveroo Food Market at Alice@Mediapolis

This was how the 40-seater dining place looked like. And the 10 kitchens mentioned was located just behind the area. 

"Deliveroo (legally incorporated as Roofoods Ltd.) is an online food delivery company founded by William Shu in 2013 in London, England.

It operates in over two hundred locations across the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Its subsidiary operation, Deliveroo Editions, focuses on growing a network of ghost kitchens—kitchens located off-site from restaurants for the preparation of delivery-only meals."

(Source: Wikipedia)

So, I worked in one of those 10 ghost kitchens located behind. 

List of kitchens and brands participating at Deliveroo Food Market

As mentioned above, the ghost kitchen was there to prepare food for delivery only meals. And ordering system was all fully automated, meaning that it was ordered through online (Deliveroo website or apps). No service staff taking order at the counter and to serve the food for you. It would be delivered by the Deliveroo food delivery rider to your home or office, or you can pick up at Deliveroo Food Market like the place above. 

Where you pick up your meals :)

When Covid-19 struck in Singapore since March last year, many F&B establishments were suffering as less people dined in. They were struggling with the restaurant's high rent cost, high labour cost, and so on. 

Food delivery had become trends as it encouraged less interaction between humans (as ordering, payment etc. were fully automated). People would not mind to pay more to get the taste of food that they wanted without having to move their butts and queue up. 

The GM of the restaurant that I worked saw this as a very good opportunity and time to strike this type of business. What they needed was to rent a small kitchen and hired few kitchen staffs (3 full-time staffs and 3 to 4 part-time staffs) to operate in their daily basis. 

They showed their food menu on the Deliveroo apps and to widen the market, he was creating the business Instagram accounts to introduce, show, and market what they sold. 

With premium ingredients used, well cooking skills and creativity, it could produce a delicious, healthy, and eye-catching food and many people who were health-conscious and loved high quality food, would not mind paying a high price to get the products. 

I was sometimes amazed with it because even in difficult times like this, people were still buying and spending their money on these types of food unhesitatingly.

Well, Covid or not Covid, people would still have to eat. You just had to change the way you run your business to maximise your profit. I loved this idea though. 

Delivery wise, you did not have to headache because Deliveroo would manage. You just had to focus on your food and beverage operations. 

All the prepared food was just put on the kitchen window and the staffs from Deliveroo would transfer it to the collection point, ready to be picked up by the rider or customer. 

The food had to be prepared in short time (as short as 7 minutes) so that it could preserve the heat, quality, and freshness by the time it reached the recipient's hands. So we had to work fast and good teamwork was necessary. 

Well, that was only the beginning. I hope it would go well and smoothly. I did not say it was easy but I would do my best to learn and be a good team player. Wish me all the best!!! :D

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Life update - Jan 2021

Hello January

Time indeed flies. January is going to be over soon, in few days time. Many things have happened, be it in my own personal life, and also in everyone else's life. 

First of all, Chinese New Year is coming (on 12th February 2021). It is in two and half weeks more. Many people are preparing it diligently now - from cutting their hair (to ward off the bad luck), buying new clothes, shopping food for CNY Eve's family gathering, changing new notes for the red packets, buying CNY goodies and decoration, and so on. 

However, 4 days ago, the authorities came out with new rules on visiting and tossing Yusheng (related to the upcoming CNY celebration). More details can be found here. It is summarized in the picture below:

Covid-19 Safeguards (Pic source: CNA)

With it, the CNY is expected to be quiet this year, very different from years before. Haiz.... I know. But when Covid-19 is still rampant everywhere, I think precautions are better than sorry and we just have to bear with it.

Anyway, many people are happy with the new rules though. Because they will get excuse for no-visiting this year. No need to prepare CNY goodies or delicacies, no need to distribute hong bao or red packet (although e-hongbao is recommended these days), no need to answer unnecessary (or sometimes stupid) questions - e.g. to those single - when have boyfriend or girlfriend; to couple - when to get married; to married couple - when to have kid; to married couple with kid - when to have a second one; and so on. No visiting means, no need to wear new clothes, shoes, bag, too.. Imagine how much money will be saved this year!!! Lol!!!

Second, I have quit from my part-time job. My last day of work was 17th January. It lasted for five months. It was short, but I experienced the busiest and quietest moments altogether. Have found friendship in it as well. Thank you for the opportunity and experience given to you know who you are! I am glad I was there in the team!! :)

From 11th itself, I started the other part-time job - baking kueh lapis . It is my fourth year doing this with the company. Yesterday, the kueh lapis from the company where I work was featured by 8 days (a weekly Singaporean magazine published by Mediacorp). 

Lina Confectionery Backstory Coverage (Pic source: 8 days.com)

They bought 17 kueh lapis from all different shops in Singapore - undercover - meaning: no ads, affiliations or insidious under-the-table hand-shaking involved. They placed it all side by side and compared the taste. Amazingly, they ranked it fourth best!!! With the coverage, personally, I am very happy with the news. 

And the comment! (Pic source: 8 days.com)

If only the Lady Boss (Tante Lina) - the founder - were still alive, she must be very proud and happy too!!! The kueh lapis recipe was created by her and it was her sweat and hard work for the product to be recognized by many people. She must be smiling from heaven now.

Third, once the kueh lapis job is over (first week of February), I have accepted another part time job. It is still F&B related job, still related to my passion, but handling different food. I will post it next time once I have started and familiar with it. There is something interesting about it, and that was why I chose to try :)

Yeah, it is funny right? When everyone was busy with their works, I was jobless and did nothing (other than travelling). And when Covid came, many people lose their jobs and do nothing, I was the other way around, busied myself with the part-time job I took. Hahaha...

I feel blessed though. Because even when the time was tough, we are all blessed with good health, safe environment, have job to do, and so on.

So, that's it for now. January is a busy month for me. Work, work, and work. Hope to have more rest. Til then. Hope everyone is in good health! Take care! :)

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Books read for the second half of the year 2020

Quote by Lloyd Alexander (Pic source: Google.com)

Hi hi, how have you been readers? Have you managed to read much for the second half of the year 2020?

I read lesser than the first half as since August, I had started working. With more hours spent at work plus the Korean drama I had binged to run myself away from reality,  the lesser time I had spent on reading.

Nevertheless, it was not too bad. 

Below please find the lists of books I had read for the second half of the year 2020:


July 2020

July 2020:

1. Before the Coffee Gets Cold - Toshikazu Kawaguchi
2. My True Love Gave To Me (Twelve Winter Romance)
3. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down - Haemin Sunim

August 2020

August 2020:

1. 1984 - George Owell
2. Sex and Vanity - Kevin Kwan
3. Last Tang Standing - Lauren Ho

September 2020

September 2020:

1. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird - Josie Silver
2. Love In No Man's Land - Duo Ji Zhuo Ga

October 2020


October 2020:

1. Hidden Bhutan - Martin Urlz
2. The Hating Game - Sally Thorne

November 2020

November 2020:

1. The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida - Clarissa Goenawan
2. The Other Mrs - Mary Kubica 
3. The Good Girl - Mary Kubica 

December 2020

December 2020:

1. The Glass Hotel - Emily St. John Mandel
2. Sleeping on Jupiter - Anuradha Roy
3. What Lies Between Us - John Marrs
4. Never Look Back - Mary Burton

Quote by Margaret Atwood (Pic source: Google.com)


Btw. how was 2020 treating you? It was not a easy year to pass through right? And yet, it flew so fast. It was a transformation year which affected so many people around us. It was tough but we all went through it. 

Year 2021 did not promise a better life either. Perhaps, it could get worse as apart from the pandemic (more countries around the world had to be locked down), many calamities had happened too at some parts of the world (the missing plane and earthquakes in Indonesia).

The vaccines has come but the bad news is, not everyone is able to get it (especially those who have immune-related problems, allergy problems, and so on). Haiz... Even then, it was not proven to protect human from the virus 100% yet, especially when the new variant had also appeared lately in Europe. 

Nevertheless, I am thankful for what have happened into my life so far, and will continue to be thankful more what we have so far. My prayers and wishes that we all can survive and go through it all with positive mind, one step at a time. I believe everything happens for good reasons and whatever reasons, it always teaches us something and makes ourselves stronger each and every day. 

In the end, I hope book writers can publish more books at this point of time so that we can continue reading despite the pandemic. Fighting!!!

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Happy New Year 2021

Happy New Year 2021

The alarm played the Merry Christmas melody at 7.30 am (my daily wake-up time), waking me up from my sleep. I felt coolness from the untouched bed sheet surface surrounding me. Hhhhmmm.... I stretched my legs and arms as far as possible and slowly released my breath. 

The room was still dark as I drew my curtain close the night before. I headed to the toilet inside my room to release the bladder inside me that was full of water. Raining sound was heard from the window. Hmmm... no wonder it felt so cold... What a perfect morning to start with, especially when I did not have to go to work. Supposedly, it was a perfect day to continue sleeping. However, many things I wanted to do and I did not want to miss.

First thing first, breakfast. Hubby had to go to work, even on weekends. I took out 6 slices of bread from its packet, still freshly new. I spread the butter on each bread evenly. I put a slice of gammon ham and cheese on it, making 3 sets. I heated the oven before putting them inside for 10 minutes. While waiting, I washed the fresh salad, cut a piece of kiwi, put them inside the bowl, and added blueberry on top. At the separate small bowl, I poured the sesame dressing, a perfect companion for the salad bowl.

The water was boiling. Two empty cups with coffee powder were prepared, ready to be poured. Hmmm... the coffee smell was so great in such cooling morning!!! Tinggg!!! The oven timer was stopped as well and the toasts were all ready. I made 3 sets - one for hubby, one for myself, and another one for my sister-in-law (her packed breakfast to be consumed at her working place). Sometimes, when I was free like this, I prepared some breakfast for her as well, which brought some envy to her colleagues hehehe....

Simple breakfast and yet comes from the heart :)

Hubby and I sat down facing towards each other, slowly enjoying our breakfast. The music from the radio was played at the background, connected from my old mobile phone to the alarm clock cum speaker Bluetooth that we purchased from Taobao. I loved listening to the radio. Apart from listening to the music and DJ's speaking, I could also hear some latest news (well, I seldom watch news on TV. So, short news from radio or newspaper would be my only intake for news - not the fans of too much news though).

The door towards balcony was opened widely. From my seat, I could see the rain pouring down quite heavily. The sky was grayish and gloomy. The temperature was as low as 23 degree, felt like winter (very rarely we had such temperature in this tropical country of Singapore). That was why I loved Singapore when it came to January :)

As usual, hubby and I would have chit chat, about life, about our lives especially, on what was going on surrounding us, including what had happened to our growing up son. I loved such moments, where it was only us here, having our own time together, even it was only a short while. I did not like having my morning getting distracted by other sound (be it TV sound, people's visiting, and so on). 

And since today was Saturday, no one came to our house in the morning. In short while, hubby and sister-in-law went for work. Baobei was still sleeping, and mother-in-law had gone out since dawn (to her usual market and would not return until afternoon). So I have the whole morning by myself now. 

Yummmmm..... I devoured such moments. I decided to take out my dear love (Microsoft Surface Pro) and brought it together with my new diary (2021) plus journal, to the dining table. I poured the hot water over my Doraemon mug and filled it with the Japanese green tea's bag. The rain was still pouring and cooling air entered in slow pace throughout the door. It was beautiful!!! Happiness could be gained as simple as that, no matter where you were. 

Life is good :)

Here I am now, translating my feelings into words, typing it onto this blog post. As the year 2021 has began, I have so many things on my head to say, so many feelings to express. Yesterday I was working almost a whole day, therefore I had no time to do this (public holiday meant double pay, that was why I chose to work hahaha.... :P).

I  wanted to retrospect over what had passed throughout the year 2020 and think over of what to do in this year 2021. 

First of all, the retrospection. The year 2020 passed so swiftly. I still felt as if I was still in February or March, where the spread of Corona virus in Singapore had just begun. It developed so fast that the country had to go through the Circuit Breaker period. At that time, we thought that it was going to be over in few months' time. Who ever thought that even until now, the situation had not yet gotten better. It even got worst as the Covid-19 new variant was developed in UK recently. 

Today, the Covid-19 cases are still rampant anywhere in the world, including the small country like Bhutan. Healthcare staffs there (many of them I knew) were busy fighting the disease and had to wear protective gears to protect themselves from getting infected. It reminded me of my dear friend, Tashi Chenzom, who had left this world for over 9 months (she left on 28 March 2020). Sometimes I thought that it was good that she left early so she did not have to face this kind of situation. To this day, I still miss her and wonder where she is now (or where she has been born into).

With Covid-19, I have not had a chance to meet up with my parents and siblings who stay overseas. Lucky I still have a brother who live here in Singapore. The rest of them, we meet everyday in our What's App group chat, updating our lives each and everyday online. We missed our family gathering, our family holidays, and so on. 

When my mom was sick (due to high blood pressure), we were all helpless, did not know what to do to help her. She was not dare to visit clinic and hospital as there would be many Covid-19 patients visiting the places. She was lying on bed for few days, eating whatever medicine that they thought would help her. It did not work though, because it was not the right medicine to encounter it. Luckily my eldest sister managed to video call with her usual doctor and to get prescription from her. With the right medicine, she finally could feel better and the blood pressure had gone down. 

Year 2020 was also the year without travelling. Since no travel, I did not have much things to do too. It caused me to engage in many different activities. It was the year where I watched Korean drama the most, watched various movies online, tried many different recipes, read books, and so on. Until one day I decided to do a part-time job to kill time and find my passion back. It has been 4.5 months now and it has been getting better. But many staffs (both full time and part time) were leaving to pursue different or better job prospects. Changes were never avoidable in any type of situations or places. And we could only accept and adapt. I would no more put an emphasis on feeling sadness or loss anymore. Just acceptance, let go, and adapt into new situation.

When the time passes so fast, unknowingly, we are getting old each day. My son had turned to 18 last month and had girlfriend too. He had even openly announced his relationship by posting their photos in his Instagram story yesterday. We, the parents, could no longer treat him like a baby anymore. He had often missed our dinner session at home as he went out for dinner and date with his girlfriend during this school-holiday term. When love was still in the air, the rest was transparent like ghost. Hahaha...

I am grateful that throughout year 2020, I was blessed with few group or circle of friends whom I had chance to meet often with. We met like once in a month or more (as and when both party was free). Like we all know, as we grow up, it is not numbers of friends that matter, but just few close ones that really matter to us that worth to keep. That too includes those who are far apart. Due to this pandemic, there was no chance for us to meet ( I had to forgo my UK and France trip that I planned this May), and no way in meeting others who were living all over the world. But I just want you to know, despite we live apart, your presence was always living in my hearts (you know who you are - all my dear friends everywhere around the world :) ).

Quotes 2021 (Pic source: Google.com)

Now year 2021 is here. When I chatted with my friends, sometimes we mentioned of our plans and goals, of what is next. Not only plan for this year 2021, but for many years ahead. One favorite topic was where will you plan to live on your retirement days? 

Although the retirement age in Singapore is planned to be 68 in year 2022, and still many decades lie between now and then, many of my friends have already thought and planned about it from now on. Majority of those who live in Singapore (even my Taiwanese friend) wanted to spend their old days in Thailand. Low living cost is one of the major reasons (cost of renting or buying apartment there, cost of owning vehicle, daily living cost - like food, clothing, etc.). The comfort and safety level as almost 95% of its population is Buddhist. The weather can be cooling at some season in northern area of Thailand. My friend had even learned the language so that she could communicate well with local.

Many of my Bhutan friends who are working here have planned of buying plot of land or upgrading what they already had back home. With it, they plan to build an apartment to rent, or making holiday guest house for tourists. Therefore, they save their earnings here and live their lives modestly for now.

When we were talking about all these plans, I was asking myself in my heart. What was mine? And to be honest, I have no plan. My mind is blank. Nothing. 

I live my life - day by day. Whatever comes, let it comes. As life is full of uncertainties, there is no point for me to plan too far ahead. First, due to health condition. My risk of uncertainties is far much higher than the rest. It might come anytime, anywhere. And I have no idea how long more I could live (really no idea what may come).

Second, I am happy and grateful with present moment. I have roof to stay, food to eat, clothes to wear. I live in a good country, with good weather, good political stability, safe country. I have numbers of good friends, loving families, loving parents, siblings, good relations with relatives and so on. I have job and good colleagues and managers. I can do things I love doing, have lots of freedom, get mostly what I want. And it is all enough. 

That is why I never think of moving somewhere else. Because for me, as long as I am healthy and happy, this place is good enough to live. It is a good hub place to travel everywhere too. So not necessary staying elsewhere and start all over again. If I like a place, I can just book hostel and travel for 2 weeks to a month and enjoy the place and its life temporarily. No need to headache on so many things and create more troubles. such as unnecessary paperwork, and so on.

With sickness on hand, I was not able to get insurance policy to protect me on bad time. And yes, the hospital fee is really expensive in Singapore. But as Singapore citizen, we are getting the subsidy from the government. And up to this day, our Singapore government is taking care the elder generation  and low-income families quite well. I mean, government in many countries does not giving so much privileges or benefits to their citizens. Therefore, I am grateful enough for everything.

Every one of us thinks differently about life, so do I. I do not need to stay in private apartment or condominium, or upgrade to five-room flat. I do not need to have car because I can travel comfortably with MRT, public bus, and Grab car. I do not need to eat at high class restaurant or purchase exorbitant prices food just to be happy. Any food that fits the purpose and keep my stomach warm and full are more than enough. I can let go my desire and settle for less as long I can live. Cheap biscuits and cheap tea sachet? No problem at all. I can still be very happy with it as long as it serves the purpose. Home baked muffin and not those come from famous bakery, that costs so much? Even better, because it is filled with love. Whatever comes with love, it does not have to be so good or expensive. It still fits the purpose. And it makes me happy :)

I do not need branded clothes and bags. Just normal shirts and any bags that fits the purpose are enough. There is no need for me to show off. As long it serves the purpose and makes me happy, that is enough. And so on.

I do not say that planning for future is bad. It is good. It is just, it does not applicable for me. My daily goal in life is to be healthy and happy. That is.

The good healthy mindset and positive outlooks are much needed to face any challenges that comes in life. Instead, I spend my time to be aware, to think and to do better in any situation. I have learnt many things from the past and not wanting to repeat the same mistakes again. I know I am still lacking in many part, especially preparing myself for future's life (after death). In fact, no preparation at all. Just focus on present moment and do what I shall do. That is all.

Well, what about you readers? 

Quote by Rick Warren

I bumped into a quote saying, "Lives do not change just because it is the New Year. Lives change when Mindsets change." - Rageshwari. 

Think about what kind of life you want to live and focus your mind towards it. Accept the changes. Learn to let go. And adapt with it. 

With this post and my thought sharing, I wish all of you a good health and lots of happiness this year to come. Be safe and take care everyone. Love you all :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Baking journal :)

Baking with heart (Pic source: Google.com)

I forgot when was the last time I baked at home. It seemed like ages my toy had been left abandoned at the corner of my kitchen table, so did the pastry equipments. Many ingredients had also expired and could not be used. 

If you know me well enough, you should know that I am the type of person who would do things seasonally, depending on mood. After some time, it stops. Hahahaha.. :D

My hubby had complained enough of mentioning all things I bought and used only in the beginning, and then, left behind :P

On 12.12 sale, I happened looking at the muffin or Cupcake mold tray sold online together with the paper. It had been long time that I wondered if I could make it my own. 

Cappuccino and orange muffin from 7-eleven in Melbourne

Talking about muffin, I loved eating muffin that I bought from 7-eleven store in Melbourne. It was big, delicious, and cheap (AUD$2 per piece when you bought with their $1 cappuccino!!!). My favourite was orange! Such a bargain right???

Without thinking much, I ordered it right away and a week later, it came right into my house door :)

Dadadaraaaaa.......  my new toy :D

On the same day, I browsed Youtube searching for the muffin recipe. The first that appeared was Chocolate Chip Muffin Easy Recipe

Well, who did not love an easy way??? I clicked it right away. Then I clicked few more as comparison (to find the easiest hahahaha.....)

I bought the ingredients at supermarket and started making it after reaching home.

Well, for the first try, the result seemed not bad. The taste was there (as I used good ingredients for the butter, chocolate chips, flour, etc.) However, the shape was a bit out and colour was so much dark. 

My first chocolate chip muffin with Dalgona coffee :)

Then I realised where the mistake came from (on colour side). I did not remove the tray from inside the oven. It made the position of my mold tray slightly higher and easily burnt from the top heating part from inside the oven. 

Anyway, I tasted it happily for the afternoon break with hubby-whipped Dalgona coffee. 

Few days later, I tried making the orange muffin. Again, I browsed Youtube and found the easy recipe there. 

Just nice there were 2 big orange inside the chiller, perfect ingredients for the day!!! It was easier too. I multiplied the ingredients into 2 and made 11 muffins from it. 

First time came out from oven, the shape was still not right. 

My first time odd-shape orange muffin :D

Hmmmmm.... could not be!!! I followed the same ingredients and steps as per shown in Youtube, and yet, the results were unlike shown there. So something must be wrong somewhere!!!

Well, there is always lesson from everything that we do in life. And like everything else, practise makes perfect. I found out that the setting of the oven was not right. The heat was not set from up and down, but going sideway. That was why the shape became like that!!!

I tried my second tray with the up-down setting, and voila!!! 

After setting it right!!! Yassss!!!!

Were they beautiful like me??? Hahahaha.... No more uneven colour and it came out round shape :) Taste was good too!!! The orange flavour was there. Yummy!!!

And today I made the chocolate chip muffin again. The result was much better from the first one. The taste was equally nice. 

Christmas home baked cake gifts :)

I packed it into the ice-cream container and decorated the cover on my own hahahaha.... (saving the money from buying the Christmas card) and gave it as a Christmas gift :) I hope the receivers will like it :)

And after long day of shopping ingredients and baking, I had finally my me-time to enjoy what I made :)

Me-time with home-baked chocolate chip muffin :)

Hmmmm.... it was nice, perfect having it in going-to-rain evening :)

In my opinion, it was not difficult in making it. No mixer was required as the nature of the cake itself did not required over-stirring process. Ingredients required were also easy to get. Recipes were easily followed and obtained from Youtube. 

I am not into the icing thing on top of the muffin or cupcakes, and prefer to keep things simple with its own flavour inside. It can be a perfect gift to people as well :)

So, if you wonder if you too can try, I am sure you can. You just need an oven to bake it. Happy trying if you decide to try!!! And I will make more next time when I have time and let others tasting it too :) Be patient ok? :)
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