Bits & pieces from my past week

So.

Remember how I said I was sick and tired of being sick and tired? This was me, at Changi General Hospital, 11pm on a Saturday night… I couldn’t bear the discomfort in my chest and difficulty while breathing any longer, so I called my friend Nich up and he immediately drove down to my house, drove me to the hospital and sat right next to me for the next 3 hours plus while I got several check ups and x-rays done. So loved ♥

Doctors ran a few tests and it took so much longer than expected. Thank goodness I had my friend there with me, something about hospitals really scare me. Perhaps because I’ve been fortunate enough to never have to be admitted once throughout my 20 years of life, and I’d like to keep it that way. The only time I ever go to the hospital is 1) When I have to visit desperately sick people and 2) When I’m sick as hell and the usual clinics aren’t open. So yea, totally hate hospitals. (Yes, I know no one actually likes them.) I was there for almost four whole hours… I failed 3 nebulizer tests and my doctor wanted to have me admitted because I was still wheezing despite being pumped full of drugs that are meant to clear my airways.

Electric blue and drapey dresses are so in right now ;)

In the end he submitted me to a chest X-ray, and found out that I have a lung infection…. and bronchitis. :( I was right about my condition!!! I couldn’t be admitted to stay the night in the end (thank god) because there were other patients in worse conditions needing the hospital beds than me. Walking through the beds with all the miserable sick patients made me very sad. Some looked like they were on life support and I saw bloody victims, burn victims etc, ugh. The Accident & Emergency unit is not a pretty place. The doc was very sketchy with the details when I asked him about my situation, and simply said he has scheduled a specialist appointment and that I should go home and take all my meds promptly then come back for my appointment next time. While I was being inspected by a few doctors in the hospital wards, I was sat down next to this other bed with a patient in it, although I couldn’t see who because the curtains were drawn. The first thing that caught my attention was 2 policemen standing a few feet away from me. I stared at them with curious eyes that almost bulged out of their sockets when I heard the patient suddenly scream out vulgarities, scolding the nurses. I assume he was a pretty dangerous criminal because he was all chained up (I could hear the metal chains rattling against the hospital bed as he struggles to break free) and he keeps saying stuff like “LET ME GO!!! *struggle struggle clang clang* I DON’T WANNA BE HERE, YOU BLOODY FUCKERS, #@%@^#”…. 

Major FML moment was when I looked around and saw that this was the only empty bed in the ward, next to le criminal (with good reason) and briefly considered what would happen if they firmly insisted on admitting me and I had to lie there beside that noisy asshole the whole night… e_e

Sam came to visit me when I didn’t come home after 3 hours (he thought I was only going to see the doctor’s and get a quick round of meds) and he brought along Phillip & a box of freshly baked red velvet cupcakes! Seeing Phillip made me feel a lot better. (& Sam too I guess hahaha) A red velvet cupcake with cream cheese was exactly what I needed to cheer me up after being surrounded by so much sickness and solemn patients!!! So if you’re wondering what my condition is like now, after weeks of taking an insane amount of medicine and breathalyzers, I’m much better now.

 I think I still have a mild infection in my airways coz I still wheeze sometimes, but I have stopped coughing like crazy (finally good sleep omg), the fatigue & fevers & flu have pretty much gone away, now all I need to do is to completely get rid of the phlegm and mucus that’s still inside of me! I am sososososoo happy that my condition drastically improved after being prescribed the right kind of medicine. I had gone to another doctor’s before this hospital check up and the meds were useless!!! Moral of the story? Next time I’m sick I’m heading straight to A&E instead of wasting my time at GPs because they really don’t seem to ever know what’s going on!

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With my sickness out of the way, I’ve been in a better mood these few days!

Ohhh and before I forget, I have another interesting story to share. Someone on Formspring said that they saw me, and my friend Gwen’s photos being used in a condo showroom!!! Nich & I drove down to Sky Habitat, the new condo in question, located at Bishan to check out whether it was true or not. We pretended to be potential customers, walked around several showrooms trying to locate my photo when we found it next to a bed!!!!


MAJOR WTF!!!

The photo they used!!! Sky Habitat, why are you so unethical? :[

You’re like a multi-multi-multi-million dollar establishment and you had to steal MY photo from my blog to put in your show room??? What pissed me off was that the other photos around in the showrooms looked like they were professional stock photos (which is perfectly reasonable and makes sense) mine seemed like the only personal photo there?

Next to the 3 bedroom showroom, if you guys wanna check it out, it looks like this.

 I questioned the person (real estate agent / property salesperson) who was showing us around the room on where they got this photo from and she was just completely clueless, saying that it was the interior designer who put it there. I was hopping mad – I’m pretty sure this is illegal!

This is the original photo from my blog post  “Hi, 2012. Be nice to me please”… what makes me even more mad is that I’m not the only one in the photo – my friends are in it too!!! If you wanted to use my own personal photo coz I’m a blogger, I guess I can understand. But, dafuq, you have not only violated one person’s privacy / modesty, but FOUR in total! Those are my other friends Kexin and Wayne at the back, Gwen is the one beside me. I haven’t even told them (Kexin and Wayne) about this yet. For a brief moment in time, while standing in front my own photo frame in the condo showroom, I considered stealing the frame and putting in my hand bag and walking away. WHAT? It’s mine after all!!!!

 But of course, I have loads more ethic than that, and I walked away with my head held high knowing I don’t steal from people. I guess an interior designer must have read my blog and decided it was a funny idea or good decision to include this in one of their future projects. Honestly, did you think I would never find out??? Now I’m wondering what I should do about this. Sky Habitat is being built by Capital Land – should I called Capital Land and ask which interior designing agency placed my photo there and demand for it to be removed? Nicholas keeps telling me I should be compensated. Whatever happened to copyright laws?! I can’t believe their nerve! Pffft.

What would you do if you were me?? :/

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All negative thoughts aside, here’s a barrage of happy pictures taken with my iPhone over the past week!

Peekaboo. I see you.

Lounging around in the sun, having high tea with Nich at our favorite haunt. I don’t even drink tea normally but this lychee tea is freaking fragrant and so yummy!! Totally worth the $12 that it’s priced.

Going shopping at Orchard Road, cruising around with the hood down in good weather, tea & pastries break while we snap photos and gossip, then shopping some more till our legs break & then a nice dinner… My idea of a good time! :)

Outfit of the day! Recently I’ve been quite mad about teal. I’ve been sporting a lot of blue and greenish hues than normal.

You can see Sam unglamorously eating at the back…. He’s eating the home-cooked lunch that Nich kindly brought over because he knew it’s my favorite dish – super yummy!!!!!

No idea what this is called in Chinese, but I just call it the “black praised pork with egg and tau kwa”. It’s sooo good, my grandmother used to make it all the time, reminds me of childhood days spent at her place :’) Tastes like CNY, tastes like nostalgia!

People ask me all the time why I don’t cook more chinese food. This is the reason why, lol. Chinese food looks hopeless in photos!!!! I like making western food because it looks better, and I like to post pictures of it online. As simple as that. I love food that looks and tastes good, hence why I love decorating cupcakes too.

A good example is this creamy salmon & basil pesto linguine that I made for dinner the next day… it’s totally photogenic (although not as much as my burger), and you can pretty much tell how awesome it’s going to taste just looking at it. See what I mean? With Chinese food, you need to taste it before you’re convinced.

Speaking of pretty food, Sam decided to make me strawberry shortcake the other day and it was soooo good!!! Much better than any I’ve had in a store because this was so fresh.

Fluffy light vanilla sponge cake with lotsss of whipped full cream and juicy strawberry bits everywhere! I dusted mine with cinnamon and Nutella. I love dining at fancy restaurants, but I LOVE home made food, haha… I told you all about that in my previous post already.

Perfection. ♥_♥

I took this photo yesterday. Sometimes I feel like I live in Willy Wonka’s house – sweet treats and crazy colors everywhere! That’s what my rainbow cakes look like before they are stacked and turned into art! When you love what you do, work tends not to feel like work at all.

Ma new necklace – isn’t it pwetty?! I have a thing for long gold chains! Especially if they’re heart shaped and filled with diamantes in the middle ;_

Ending this post off with photos of this lovely new dress I bought!!! I tend to stay away from tube dresses because of my flabby arms and broad shoulders, but I couldn’t resist this one.

It was love at first sight. I crazily ADORE crochet & lacy dresses – they are basically all I’ve been buying these days. :)

By the way, I’ve picked the winners for the Mother’s Day Cupcakes Giveaway last night – thank you to those who participated, reading your heartfelt comments and stories about your mums made me shed a tear (or two, or three). Some of your mums sound like my mum… Speaking of which, I totally miss her now. I’m happy for her that she’s always traveling, leading the good life & seeing the world, but some times it makes me sad that she’s hardly ever at home any more. The house just doesn’t feel the same without her around.

Thank you for sharing your stories with me, how your mum has stuck with you through the good & the bad times, they are all wonderful, I wish I could give more cupcakes. In fact I doubled the winners and picked FOUR instead of the announced two! For those who didn’t win any cupcakes, you can still make this Mother’s Day the best one your mum’s ever had by being extra sweet to her and show her your love through your own ways!!! :)

P.S – You can read 2 of the touching winning entries here, and here (this is my favorite one!!!) And lastly, the most creative entry of all.

 

 Tells me nothing about her mother… but 10/10 for wit and creativity!!!! Put a huge grin on my face ;)

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Mother’s Day Cupcakes Giveaway

Mother’s Day is coming up!

I love my momma, and I’m sure you do too. To celebrate all wonderful mummies out there, Shiberty’s Sweets is giving away TWO sets of complimentary cupcakes!!! You get to choose the flavors and design you want, that you think will suit your mum best. :)

To qualify for this giveaway you

1) Need to have a public Twitter account
2) Need to live in Singapore (or if you have someone who lives in SG to collect cupcakes for you that’s fine too)

“I’d love to get Mother’s Day cupcakes from http://shibertys.blogspot.com/ because ___”

…Copy & paste the above, fill in the blanks and include #shiberty in your tweet to enter!!!

Tell me all about how you love your mummy and how special she is to you! You may tweet more than once if 1 tweet just isn’t long enough. ♥ Winners will be contacted via Twitter tomorrow (29th of April). 

Good luck!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

My love for cooking. ♥

Dear everyone,

I have an announcement to make. Today, I woke up feeling terribly excited about one thing – cooking lunch.

Yep. I literally woke up with a huge grin on my face because I knew I was gonna get down, dirty and gritty in my tiny kitchen, slaving over the stove and chopping onions and having them make me tear and having the garlic stink up my hands when I touch em. It’s a joyous activity. I can’t decide if I have no life or I choose to be excited about the simplest things in life, lol. But one thing’s for sure, I realized my love for cooking cannot go unnoticed. It has to be acknowledged, it’s too passionate, too strong. It’s positively consuming me. (see what I did there?)



All pictures in this post are of my most recent home-cooked meals. Here we have linguine with sun-dried tomatoes, pan fried scallops & prawns! Pasta is one of my favorite foods. 

Almost every day, I will crack my brains just thinking about which culinary I should attempt to conquer next… what should I cook for lunch later? What should I cook for dinner tomorrow? I think I can almost safely say that I enjoy cooking more than I do eating, which is a bold statement. We all love food, but I don’t know a lot of people who like to cook the way I do. Most people in other countries cook because they have to, because dining out is expensive, but in Singapore you can dine out everyday and still get by. Hawker fare is cheap, available everywhere, and delicious. Don’t get me wrong, I love digging into my food once I’m done beautifying it in the kitchen. That is half the reward. But the true beauty about cooking is knowing that your food is appreciated by other people. Food has a very special kind of effect on people. It makes people of all ages, languages, races & backgrounds speak the same language… Hunger. And a well fed-person, is a happy person. I like making people happy in my own little ways.


Roasted red capsicums stuffed with cherry tomatoes, basil, sun-dried tomatoes (as you can tell I am obsessed with tomatoes) along with other random goodness, topped off with cheese and breadcrumbs! Look ma, no meat.

And here, I’ll just admit it – I like the attention. I love getting reactions out of people when I cook. Most people don’t expect it from me, which makes it extra fun and dramatic. It’s like when a fat guy finishes first in a marathon.. They’re happy that you tried, but they’re over the moon and completely dumbfounded that you actually succeeded. Do I really look that prissy? I guess so. Less than 3 years ago I could barely cook anything, you could leave me with a kitchen full of raw supplies in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and I’d still starve to death. I couldn’t even fry an egg, or prepare instant noodles myself. My idea of cooking maggi mee is dumping the entire contents of the packet into a large bowl filled with water and popping it into the microwave for 3 minutes to “cook”. Before I discovered the microwave technique, I never even dreamed of touching the stove. Microwave-food alone was an achievement for me. I’ve always had an innate fear of stoves, microwaves.. anything fire or electricity related that could possibly explode, I’d stay far, far away from. So I don’t know exactly when it was, or what inspired me to get my ass involved into the kitchen, but one day I decided I would stop being such a pussy princess, and that I’d man the fuck up and finally learn how to cook, like a woman should. (Don’t mean to sound sexist, but let’s admit it girls, the way to a man’s heart is his stomach) I have an inkling it might have been when I toyed with the idea of moving to Australia to live. People kept drilling it into my head that living alone in your own apartment and fending for yourself is hard, and that cooking was a necessary skill. Sam, and my very own mother would subtly rub it into my face that I couldn’t survive by myself.. I recall hearing this sentence in a slight taunting and challenging tone, “Who is going to cook and clean up after you???” And in my head a small proud voice screamed, “I’ll cook for myself dammit!!!”...  Sam’s mum also did not particularly like me very much back then when I visited his family in Melbourne, and I was told by Sam it’s because I was “too spoilt.” As a result of indignation, a new hobby and skill was born.

Here’s my list of reasons why cooking is awesome!

1) It’s cheaper than eating at most restaurants, while being equally or even yummier, if you do it right. Singapore has a serious lack of individual, unique restaurants… I’m sick of dining at the same old franchised outlets!!! Perhaps cooking is not cheaper than hawker fare, but you can’t eat hawker food your whole life.

2) It ups your “future amazing wife potential” (Yay for me, take that Sam’s mum! Hah just kidding.)

3) You can do your food exactly the way you want it to be done! If you’re a fussy eater and control freak like me, it works out perfectly.

4) While Singapore lacks new & exciting restaurants to try, they do exist but they’re all terribly far away and tucked into strange little obscure corners, and easily accessible. Cooking at home saves me taxi fares!

5) It’s an awesome way to kill time. Not sure what to do on a mundane Sunday? Attempt to cook your favorite food or dessert! Even if you fail, you’ll have fun trying.

Learning how to cook was not an easy thing to do. But it is undoubtedly one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

It is messy, a lot of trial-and-errors, is a big time investment, difficult to grasp at first and most of all, pure hard work. There’s a lot of physical exertion involved. Being a non-sporty person, the only time I ever perspire or get covered in sweat in my air-conditioned house is when I have to babysit my food sitting in a stove-crib. When I first started out experimenting with different cooking styles, I had to put up with the awkward looks on people’s faces when they were asked to try my cooking and they didn’t like it, but didn’t know how to tell me. It was quite a difficult blow to stomach considering I always try to give my best. At least I know they weren’t lying, and they will only give compliments when they’re real.

Speaking of compliments, if someone tells me I’m pretty, I’d curtly respond, “Thank you. ^.^”
On the other hand, if the same person said, “I LOVE your cooking / baking!!!” I’d be all like, “Really? Why thank you!! I’m glad you liked it!!!! :D”

A compliment has so much more meaning when you know you earned it!

These days, even when I have become comfortable with cooking, I still face new problems and questions everyday – what is affordable to cook, that I haven’t cooked recently, that everyone home will find suited to their taste buds, that I already have the ingredients for in the fridge because I do not have time to go out and buy groceries? …Sheesh, it’s like the problems never stop coming. But that is also part of the reason why I find cooking fun, because it is a challenge. If something is too easy, it’s probably not worth doing. I am always learning.



To digress, I solved that problem last night by doing a fried cauliflower dish coated in seasoned batter, I also prepared a garlic aioli sauce to dip with. Do not be deceived by it’s plain looks! It is crispy and full of flavor, normally I wouldn’t even take a glance at cauliflower. Everyone raved about it and the cauliflower costed me only $1.30. Hoo-rah!

Just today, I decided to make hamburgers for lunch, at the request of my boyfriend. I thought to myself, “Hey, McDee’s can serve up a hamburger within minutes. How difficult can it be? No problem-o!”  but I ended up spending over an hour wreaking havoc in the kitchen, and by the time I was done, I was almost too tired and hot and bothered to enjoy my meal properly. (But I did, anyway, because it was good. I fell asleep after that though)

Was the pain worth it? You bet. Toasted buttered bun.. Cheddar cheese.. Creamy portobello mushrooms.. Fresh lettuce & tomatoes.. Home made fatass juicy beef patty.. Fried bacon.. White onions.. Accompanied by deviled eggs. Food comas are made of these.

Most people would look at the picture above and go, “Oh, yum, a burger!” but to me, it is a work of art. (Don’t laugh!)

I look beneath the exterior to see what lines beneath. I think about frying the bacon that made the hot oil splatter and how it hurt when it landed on my bare skin, about how it took 20 whole minutes to cook that monster of a beef patty, about how my eyes still sting just a little from cutting the onions and let’s not even get started on how messy my whole kitchen was after the fiasco. Since picking up cooking, I have been extremely aware of what I am putting into my mouth. I feel like most people don’t know what they are putting into their bodies when they dine outside. Did you know that your tasty McDonald chicken nuggets are actually made from this disgusting laboratory-produced piece of inedible looking thing?! At least when I make my own burgers, I can make sure real minced beef goes into my beef patties! (well I know supermarkets are full of preservatives and other random shit but it’s still an improvement to cook yourself) Perhaps it’s just easier not to know the harsh reality, but I say, it is a damn good thing to know as much as you can, ignorance is never bliss. These days, I am better at telling real food apart from fake food, from what are genuine flavors & aromas and what is just laden with unhealthy MSG. I don’t eat as much junk food as I used to, and have become more health conscious, because I always think twice before I buy food outside.

How much nutritional value is this going to give me? Am I really going to pay $8 for a McDonalds meal when I can cook a nicer, healthier burger and with the same amount of money I could double the portions? I don’t know about you, but I always feel sickly after eating McDees. I like McDees, and I am not discriminating against anyone else who does, but surely I am not the only one who feels like my throat gets all dry and congested when I finish their burgers, and the slight nauseating feeling when you’ve finished your whole meal, downed with those oily fries (that aren’t even made of mostly potatoes?!) and diluted, watered-down soda. (P.S I am very proud to tell you guys I have given up my soft drink addiction!!!! Big milestone in my life.)

Another sense of awareness that cooking has brought to my attention is eating meat. I roasted this whole chicken for dinner last night. (Of course I didn’t finish it alone, it was shared among 6 people) Here it looks like a tasty roasted chicken, fresh out of my oven, ready to eat. 2 hours before this, however, before the marinating and roasting in the oven, all I saw was a dead, cold chicken carcass sitting on my table waiting for it’s head to get chopped off, and for it’s guts to be de-gutted so that I could have it for dinner. I hate touching uncooked raw meat, but it is a solemn reminder that another animal had to die, so that I could live (better). Not just one, but many, many animals. Now you could say “You can live without meat!” but I’ve enjoyed eating meat for all my life and will not (or can not) stop now. I am not interested in preaching about animal cruelty or being vegan because I have nothing to do with that, however, I just wanted to highlight how this prompts me to waste food less often, I try to finish everything I have on my plate. If an animal had to die, at least I’d make it’s death worth their while. It makes me appreciate food this much more, gluttony aside, I realize I am privileged to be at the top of the food chain and how lucky I am to have food always readily available, and that I never have to go hungry. Many other people in this world suffer from starvation, a depressing problem that shouldn’t exist in this era considering our abundance of food.

In a lot of ways, cooking is like baking to me. It’s a valuable and convenient skill to have, it impresses people, and I am always guaranteed some sort of a reward. I’m fussy with my hobbies and interests, if I feel like they don’t provide me an instant sense of worthwhile-ness, I will drop it almost immediately. With cooking or baking, even if people somehow don’t like it, at least it fulfills the human being’s most basic need – having something to put in your stomach. No food is ever wasted when it satiates your hungry. Watching people dig into my food gives me a similar sensation as to when I see people gawk and squeal at the sight of my decorated cupcakes.. At the end of the day, it’s not so much of smugness, or self-gratification, but mostly I am humbled that something so simple can evoke a response like that from another human being. Please continue to make orgasmic noises and pull funny expressions while wolfing down the food I made you, it puts a smile on my face.

And that, briefly, is why I love cooking… Other than how it tastes so good.

Now I don’t even have to worry about what to cook for lunch the next day, because my best friend is cooking and bringing lunch to my place for me tomorrow. The only cooking I like better than my own cooking is meals that are cooked by other people, with utmost sincerity, just for me!!!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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