Date Night Outfit!

I dragged my sorry sick ass out of bed yesterday to go on a date night with Sam… I’m going to make it a point to go on specifically-arranged dates twice a month! We’re nearing 3 years together and I think it’s important to try and keep the flame alive, especially since we live AND work together!!!

The dress I chose for the night, which fetched me a lot of compliments! Yay! My mum has impeccable taste (most of the time), she bought this for me :)

The back of le lacy dress!

Wore teal eyeshadow to match my dress… somehow I didn’t get the memo that your eye make up’s color is not meant to directly match your outfit’s color, lol. What a noob fashion mistake. I just thought it’d be fun to have some color on my eyes since I wear brown all the time, and now I realize why I stick to brown. It never fails you.

My new favorite bag which made its debut last night even though I bought it months ago!

 All this fancy get up was actually just to have a nice-ish dinner (I say nice-ish dinner coz we have nice dinners almost everyday hahaha) and to watch TITANIC 3D!!!!! Which I was extremely stoked about. I sobbed like a baby in the cinema. When the hymn of the sea played in the very beginning of the movie, I was already close to crying. I was so thrilled to be able to catch my favorite movie on the silver screen, considering I was only 5 years old when the original Titanic was released in cinemas. Pretty pissed that they cut off Rose’s topless scene though. WHY DENY US SINGAPOREANS GREAT TITS???

I don’t think there will ever be another movie as timeless and classic as Titanic. I love tragic love. I went home and ended up spending hours reading up facts about the real story of RMS Titanic.. I was surprised at how accurate the movie portrayal was compared to the real story!

Here are some of the most gripping facts:

 Were Jack and Rose based on real people?
No. Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater, portrayed in the movie by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, are almost entirely fictional characters (James Cameron modeled the character of Rose after American artist Beatrice Wood, who had no connection to Titanic history). The movie’s love story is also fiction. It was created by Titanicscreenwriter and director James Cameron. In addition to Rose and Jack, a handful of other characters associated with them are fictional as well. They include Rose’s fiancé Caledon ‘Cal’ Hockley (Billy Zane), her mother Ruth (Frances Fisher), Cal’s valet Spicer Lovejoy (David Warner), and the third class passengers, who include Jack’s friends Fabrizio (Danny Nucci) and Tommy (Jason Barry). Some of the third class passengers were modeled after real people.



Who sketched Jack’s drawing of Rose that we see in the movie Titanic?
Director James Cameron did the sketch of Rose (Kate Winslet) wearing the necklace. It is actually Cameron’s hand, not Leonardo DiCaprio’s, that we see sketching Rose in the movie. James Cameron also drew all of the pictures in Jack’s sketchbook. — (RESPECT!!!)

Were the movie’s underwater shots of the Titanic wreckage real?
Yes. Most of the underwater shots of the Titanic wreckage are real. In 1995, James Cameron hired the Russian vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldyshand its two submersibles. He made a total of twelve dives to film the underwater close-ups at a depth of 12,500 feet below the North Atlantic. Special cameras and housings were designed to withstand the 6,000 pounds per square inch of water pressure. Each dive lasted approximately fifteen hours, but the cameras could only store 500 feet of film, which meant that only twelve minutes of footage could be shot per dive. As a result, a few of the underwater shots had to be faked.  

Did some of the passengers choose to go down with the ship?
Yes. Near the end of the movie Titanic, we see an old couple embracing in bed as water pours into their cabin. The couple is first class passengers Isador and Ida Straus. Isador was the co-owner of Macy’s department store. In real life, Isador and Ida were both offered a place on Lifeboat No. 8, but Isador chose to stay on the Titanic so long as there were women who remained on the ship. Ida refused to abandon her husband. Witnesses on the deck and in Lifeboat No. 8 heard Ida tell her husband, “We have been living together for many years. Where you go, I go.” The couple was last seen sitting on a pair of deck chairs (not lying in bed like in the movie). Only Isador’s body was recovered and identified. 

 

Was the Heart of the Ocean (Coeur de la Mer) a real diamond?
 No. The Heart of the Ocean diamond is a fictional device that James Cameron added to the plot in order to give Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) a reason to hear Rose’s story. The Heart of the Ocean is based on the famous Hope Diamond that King Louis XVI of France gave to Marie Antoinette to add to her jewelry collection. The Hope Diamond is currently on display at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. It holds no place in Titanic history. As a result of moviegoer fantasies surrounding the fictional Heart of the Ocean, the Asprey & Garrard jewelry company decided to make a real Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace. The 170-carat sapphire, surrounded by sixty-five 30-carat diamonds, was worn by Celine Dion during her performance of “My Heart Will Go On” at the 1998 Academy Awards Ceremony. The necklace later sold at a benefit auction for $2.2 million.

 Information above credited to this website.

Another interesting article I read about the Titanic’s real story was the inaccuracy of the portrayal of rich people in the film. The wealthy passengers, in the film, were made out to be snobbish, valuing their own existence much more than the poor but it is said that in actual fact, a considerable amount of First Class passengers sacrificed their lives to save the poor ones out of good will. I was most shocked to know that the ship’s wealthiest man, John Jacob Astor IV, did not even make it out alive. He refused to get on a lifeboat, as with many other First Class men, they believed in the policy of “women and children first”. I’m pretty sure someone as wealthy as him could have gotten out alive if he wanted to, but gave up his place so that women and children from Third Class may live. It did not matter to him that he was the wealthiest man on the boat.

Imagine that.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Sick and tired

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I hate being sick SO much. I know it’s obvious enough that nobody likes being sick, but it seems like every time I fall sick, I have it worse than other people. I don’t fall sick super often, but when I do, I get very very sick. I’d get high temperature fevers, coughs that last for weeks, and I get hit by so much fatigue I find it hard to go on with my daily activities.

I think that means I have to boost my intake of Vitamin C? I’m not exactly the healthiest person you’ll find around. I haven’t been in the best of health, dealing with issues like anemia since I was a kid. So for the past 1 month I have been coughing like a desperate motherfucker. At first my coughs were mild, and dry, and I took no notice of them. I mean, a little coughing won’t kill me right???

Or so I thought. The coughs have turned from dry, to really loaded with gross green-ish thick phlegm, and I don’t know if you know what it feels like to cough so hard and frequently your head and neck and joints literally hurt, but it sucks. Coughing so violently you gasp for air and coughing into the night at 5am. I haven’t had a decent night sleep in weeks. Every time I think I’m getting better, I get worse. From dry coughs to phlegm-y coughs to on-and-off fevers to body aches to runny, stuffy nose to headaches to now, fatigue and having difficulty breathing.

At the start of my sickness (almost a month ago) I just took cough drops and panadols because it wasn’t so serious, thinking my illness would go away soon, I brushed it off… but it didn’t. So after awhile, I took more meds from the pharmacy.. but nothing seemed to work. I didn’t go to the doc’s because I thought a cough was pretty straightforward. Cough syrups, what else? But the idea that there might be a bigger, underlying problem dawned on me yesterday… So Sam finally dragged my stubborn ass to the doctor’s yesterday afternoon, and le doctor reckons I have mild asthma. He prescribed me more medicine, and gave me an inhaler to use. I’m appalled.

I haven’t had asthma since I was a child.. is he for real?

I’m sick of my mum, grandmother, boyfriend lecturing me about not taking medicine and being “heaty”… They don’t see that I AM TRYING to get better!!! But I just can’t, goddammit, do you think I enjoy wheezing like an 80 year old with lung cancer? Mum keeps telling me not to have chilli or cold food but that only makes sense if you have a sore throat. My problem seems to be much deeper rooted. I honestly thought my cough was derived from drinking hot tom yum soup and burning my throat (as I had a sore that that day after drinking soup which led to a cough) but I can actually feel the discomfort in my chest instead of in my throat now. My throat in fact seems perfectly fine, there’s no irritation or infection there. I’m afraid my illness has to do with my respiratory system. When I take deep breaths, there is a horrible sound of a dying person’s last breath, and I end up choking and coughing so I tend to take short, sharp breaths now. The doctor told me yesterday that it is not normal for coughs to go on for for a month (wow you don’t say) so he’s referred me to go for an X-ray check up. And I am going tomorrow.

The whole of today afternoon and yesterday, I could do nothing but sleep, and sleep. It kills me to know that I am so weak, I can’t even find the energy to do something as simple as replying emails. I am rid of all my capabilities. I am even afraid of touching cakes in fear of transferring my sickness so I get my boyfriend to help me do things instead. My head just hurts, all the fucking time. The thing is, my mind is wide awake, but my body is completely exhausted, perhaps from battling the virus. I have no idea how I even produce so much mucus, it’s no wonder I constantly feel dehydrated. I was so angry at myself for not taking better care of myself and so pissed off at being sick for the 4th week in a row, that I cried myself to sleep. Well in between my sobs I had to get out of the bed every 2 minutes to blow my stuffy nose into a tissue or to spit out more phlegm. I realized how lightly I take my health and how important health really is. You can have it all, money, love, family, friends, good looks, success, youth… but nothing guarantees health. Look at Steve Jobs! All the money in the world couldn’t save him. And it’s not even his fault for what happened to him.

To make matters worse, I actually had a recording session (for a Youtube video!!!) 2 days ago, but failed miserably because I sounded too nasally due to my stuffy nose and I just couldn’t stop coughing. My coughing has led to a shortness of breath so it’d even harder to sing. I could barely breathe normally, let belt out lyrics. You have NO IDEA how much I was looking forward to recording the song and how badly I want to do this. Now the next recording session is pushed back to almost a month later. :’( It makes me so disappointed.

I have been trying to be healthier recently, so it makes me angry that I should fall sick now, when I’m actually starting to give a damn. Did I start too late? I think I really am older and more vulnerable, when I was younger I felt like I could take on the world and nothing could bring me down. Now, it feels like a simple flu could get the better of me or even kill me. I don’t see why I should be so sick. My eating habits have been quite good I think, I eat lots of fruits, I have been cutting down on more than 80% of the sodas, desserts, and junk food that I normally eat. I try to be more active, by doing sports like badminton, and I’ve actually lost 5kg in the past month by just eating less and better, but I’m not sure if the weight loss has got to do with being sick as well. I hear sick people lose a lot of weight. But still, trying to be healthier didn’t stop me from turning into this miserable thing that I am this very instant :( I would literally hand someone $2000 cash right now, if they could rid me of my illness instantly. It seems like no matter how many pills I pop, which is more than 9 a day, I am not getting better.

I’m not a doctor, but I have been doing a lot of googling, I think I might have either:


Mycoplasma: (info taken here)

Mycoplasma has been very prominent in Singapore in recent years. The infection can make a person feel unwell, with typical symptoms including aches, coughs and fatigue, though many infected people don’t feel bad enough to visit a GP. It is, however, important to understand and diagnose Mycoplasma in order to avoid infecting others.

Mycoplasma infection typically refers to the respiratory illness caused by Mycoplasma Pneumoniae, a microscopic organism related to bacteria. Most infections involve the upper respiratory tract (such as sore throat, bronchitis). In five to ten percent of patients, the infection can progress to pneumonia. The medical term for this lung infection is Atypical Pneumonia or Community Acquired Pneumonia. It is also commonly referred to as “Walking Pneumonia”, as the symptoms are usually mild and most patients are able to function quite normally. Hospitalisation is rarely required. Complications are relatively rare.

Symptoms usually develop around two to three weeks after exposure to the organism. The symptoms develop slowly, over a period of two to four days. Typical initial symptoms include fever, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, headaches and dizzy spells. A dry cough, often in spasms, is the hallmark of the infection. Early stages of the infection can be very similar to that of the common cold or even influenza. However, with Mycoplasma infection, the symptoms can be persistent, especially the cough and fatigue, which can linger for weeks and sometimes months.

Acute Bronchitis (info from wiki):

Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the large bronchi (medium-size airways) in the lungs that is usually caused by viruses or bacteria and may last several days or weeks.[1] Characteristic symptoms include cough, sputum (phlegm) production, and shortness of breath and wheezing related to the obstruction of the inflamed airways. Diagnosis is by clinical examination and sometimes microbiological examination of the phlegm. Treatment for acute bronchitis is typically symptomatic. As viruses cause most cases of acute bronchitis, antibiotics should not be used unless microscopic examination of gram-stained sputum reveals large numbers of bacteria.

Bronchitis may be indicated by an expectorating cough, shortness of breath (dyspnea), and wheezing. On occasion, chest pains, fever, and fatigue or malaise may also occur. In addition, bronchitis caused by Adenoviridae may cause systemic and gastrointestinal symptoms as well. However, the coughs due to bronchitis can continue for up to three weeks or more even after all other symptoms have subsided.

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Seriously… not looking forward to getting either a chest X-ray or blood test tomorrow. Expensive, and extremely uncomfortable, to say the least.

For all of you who have read my long winded, wordy, ranty entry until this thus far, thank you for being my listening ear. You have no idea how awful I feel.

The rest of you who are well, please, please please take good care of yourself. This is the time to be vigilant. There is seriously an alarming number of sick people recently, and you don’t want to be one of them. I have a feeling a highly contagious bout of illness has been hitting Singaporeans. I know at least 3 other people with the same symptoms that I have, goodness knows what viruses they, or I, carry. If you see someone coughing non-stop, (likely me if you live in Simei) run FAR FAR away.

And for everyone else who is sick, fuck your life, and fuck mine too.

Wish me luck for my check up tomorrow, I hope it’s not anything too serious!!! I’ve been sick for a month now, and I am TOTALLY READY to get better ASAP.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

The BEST Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe evarrrr!!! :D

So every time I create a recipe how-to post, I just HAVE to include that it’s the “Best xxx recipe evarrrr” because it so totally is! If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t feel obliged to share it. :P

If you didn’t already know, my boyfriend Sam is half-Vietnamese, and half-Chinese. But I just think of him as only Vietnamese because his whole family follows the Vietnamese culture, they speak, eat and look like viets, not Chinese, so his Chinese ethnicity is sort of invalid in my opinion.

Now, I don’t eat a lot of Vietnamese food, I generally prefer Thai food as they’re similar but Thai is more tangy and spicy. The one Vietnamese food I really like is Vietnamese spring rolls, the fried ones – not the fresh ones! And Sam happens to make this REALLY well.

This is what I’m talking about!!!! It looks so deliciously crispy and golden brown omg ♥

For every single occasion, be it a house party, chinese new year, etc.. people will always ask one question: “Is Sam making his famous spring rolls?”

My relatives will not stop hounding him until he fries up a whole big batch for them! Mind you, they don’t eat 10, or 20 of these. When Sam makes a batch of these, 50 is the minimum amount he’ll make, and they are ALWAYS snapped up… There are no leftovers whatsoever!!! I’ve seen people fight for the last piece on the plate hahaha. Word of warning, when you cook this, it’ll all be gone before you know it.

This dish will be unlike any spring rolls you’ve ever had before.

When I think of spring rolls sold outside, I would never order them. I would think they’re too oily, just full of lousy vegetables, and a waste of carbs and money in general. These however, will blow your mind. They’re crazily addictive because they’re perfectly sized, small enough to make you want to pop another, and another into your mouth. It’s not too filling, although they are hearty – normally I have at least 10 of these for dinner. The SUCCESS to this dish is the sauce that comes along with it – without the sauce it’s good, but nothing to rave about. However dunk it in Sam’s secret recipe sauce (not so secret now!) and it becomes the best thing ever!!!

So I’m about to begin teaching you guys how to make this, however..

I do want to make this very clear that this recipe is 100% original, not “inspired” from recipes taken from other cook books or websites. Sam wanted me to credit his mother for these as he grew up eating a very similar dish she cooked, but he’s made some slight modifications since then. If you do make these or want to share the recipe / pictures online (even after altering it), do remember to credit and link back to this entry. It took me awhile to convince Sam to give me the recipe to share with you guys, so please use with integrity. :)


Let’s rock and roll!!!


YOU WILL NEED:

Main Ingredients

♥ — 200g chopped minced pork (if you’re muslim, try this with minced beef!!!)
♥ — 200g chopped fresh prawns, de-shelled and de-veined
♥ — 100g grated carrots, wrung (squeezed) dry
♥ — 150g cooked bee hoon / rice vermicelli
♥ — 150g diced shitake mushrooms

♥ — 4 cloves diced garlic
♥ — 1 small onion or half a large onion diced

♥ — 1 egg
♥ — 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♥ — 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
♥ — 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
♥ — 3 teaspoons of salt
♥ — A pinch of MSG / flavor enhancer (you can leave this out if you want, but a lil bit never hurt!)

Extras

♥ — Spring rolls pastry, defrosted (NOT the fresh, rice paper type. I use this, available at NTUC)
♥ — 1 egg white (you will need this for wrapping the spring rolls)

Sauce

♥ — 1/2 cup water
♥ — 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♥ — 2 tablespoons white sugar
♥ — 1 tablespoon white vinegar
♥ — 2 tablespoons lemon juice
♥ — Juice of 1 Calamansi
♥ — Half a chilli padi, cut up (use a whole chilli padi if you like it super spicy, or 1/4 if you have low spice tolerance, but don’t put none at all if you can help it!)


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Step 1: Combine all the main ingredients together in a big bowl!

Here’s Sam doing the dirty job for me. Well somebody has to be holding the camera, right? It’s not truly authentic unless it’s made by a Vietnamese!! Lol… kidding.

(actually I’m not, but yeah. :P)

After combining all your ingredients it should look like this!

Yeah, it’s not pretty or gourmet, but it’s yummy nevertheless. Honestly, the measurements are pretty forgiving, so you don’t have to go nuts trying to measure all the ingredients so accurately… and I think it’s pretty much impossible to mess up because of how straightforward it is. If you manage to screw this up, sorry honey, you have no business in the kitchen, time to learn dancing or juggling instead.

Now, that’s the easy part about this recipe. Who can’t dice a few mushrooms and grate a few carrots then combine them? The difficult bit will probably be learning how to roll your spring rolls nicely. If you don’t do this properly, your spring rolls will either be 1) Ugly 2) Tastes yucky due to weird texture 3) Not as appealing as it could be.

I took the liberty of taking Step-By-Step pictures of how Sam does it, so follow these instructions carefully!

1) Get a big tray for working on, and place a sheet of the spring roll pastry in front of you, in a diamond-shaped position.

2) Spoon a decent sized amount of your spring roll mixture and place it 3/4 down your pastry. You want a small amount of filling, no more than half a tablespoon (or use the above to gauge!).

3) Take the end of your pastry…

4) And fold it over the filling, as shown above.

5) Fold it across from one side

6) Now do the other side! …I hope you’re good at origami, haha. I kinda suck at this because I was never good at symmetry.

7) Take some egg white and spread it across the area which the finger is pointing at. This will keep your spring roll from unfolding involuntarily.

8) Now to finish it up, roll it all the way up from the bottom! Do not roll it too tightly, or loosely. Sam tells me the less you think about how you’re doing this, the better it will probably turn out.

If you do it too tight, your pastry will loop around the mixture too many times and will not be as crispy as it should be when fried.

9) When you have something like this, you’re done! Yay, congratulations, you just rolled your first spring roll! :D

It’s actually pretty fun… for the first 20, at least. Then it gets tiresome. Now the awesome part about this recipe is that you can keep the rest of the spring rolls that you think you can’t finish in the freezer for a long time. I’d recommend keeping it for a week or two tops, but according to Sam, his mum kept it for months. LOL. Make sure you keep it in an air-tight container.

Now, how do you fry the spring rolls? Well I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how to fry stuff. Pour a generous amount of oil into your frying pan (shallow fry if you’re health conscious, deep fry if you don’t care), wait for the oil to become really hot (otherwise it won’t be crispy), then fry your spring rolls until a gorgeous golden brown color, while turning it on both sides constantly!!! How long your frying time takes depends on how big you rolled the spring rolls and how much oil / how hot your oil is. It’s not rocket science, you can figure it out :)

And wait! Just when you thought we were done, we still have the sauce to make!!!

Refer to my “WHAT YOU’LL NEED” list above, and scroll to the Sauce section. Combine all the ingredients, Sam threw in some leftover grated carrot to boost how the sauce looks and popped a whole calamansi into the bowl.

This sauce is DA BOMBDIGGITY. You won’t be “dipping” your spring roll in the sauce, you’ll be dunking it in to say the least, most people leave their spring roll “swimming” in the sauce for a good few seconds, lol!

This is the p.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n you should get if you’ve followed this recipe correctly!!!!!!! ♥_♥

Sooo crispy and such a gorgeous medley of flavors! Prawny and meaty with just the right amount of vegetables to complement all the textures and flavors. Burly men will not scoff at these because they are hearty and filling, despite how they look. I want some now even though I just em yesterday, oh gee.

This is less than 1/4 of what we fried yesterday – this recipe makes A LOT of spring rolls, more than 50!! (remember, they freeze well)

The spring roll pastry packet I bought had 50 sheets of pastry and we ran out of pastry before we could finish using up the filling. I highly recommend these for parties because the ingredients are cheap (estimated cost for today’s recipe is $10 or less and could be the dinner of 4 hungry people) and they’re easy to make in big batches! Or definitely make these if you wanna impress your boyfriend / girlfriend’s family.. I have a feeling it especially appeals to middle-aged Asians (and ang mohs!)

Although I’m sure anyone would love these tasty bites because I’ve offered them to my nearing-80-year-old grandmother and my little neighbor who is less than 10 and everyone who’s ever tried them has thoroughly enjoyed them!

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Happy rolling your spring rolls guys!!!

Let me know how these turned out for you and the responses from people who are going to eat it! I’ll positively chop my head off if you don’t get raves, haha. Sam, and his mama, would be so proud of their family recipe. :)

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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