Christmas in Bali

Can you believe Christmas is over already?!

It went as quickly as it came. I don’t even know how my family and I ended up spending our Christmas in Bali. *scratches head*

When we were discussing Christmas plans, someone said something, someday, along the lines of “The Christmas atmosphere in Bali is great! There’s lots of white tourists here so there will be plenty of Christmas lights and atmosphere.” It would be fun, they said…. It would be a good place to spend Christmas, they said……. *shakes fist in the air*

All I felt was sweltering heat and intolerable humidity about three times worse than Singapore!! It was my first time there so I can’t say I wasn’t totally taken aback and surprised by how different it was from the way Bali is always portrayed in movies and in marketing advertisements. I thought it would be serene, peaceful, beautiful… On the contrary, people there were actually rather rude and rowdy, and the tourist area was anything but peaceful! To be fair, when we drove into the country side (at least an hour away from the city) it WAS a lot quieter and greener.. so maybe next time I visit, I’ll go stay around Ubud, to see “the real Bali”. I thought the touristy part of Bali (Kuta, Seminyak, Nusa Dua etc) would be like Phuket, boy was I wrong.. Phuket is in fact, a lot milder! Bali was really something else. A real eye opener. There was pretty much zero Christmassy atmosphere in the whole of Bali because most of the locals there at Hindus. People all around couldn’t even be bothered it was Christmas.

But that didn’t stop us from having a jolly good time! Having said all of this, the trip was still super fun and a great experience, despite being different from my expectations.

We spent our days stuffing our faces with traditional Balinese food and Western fine dining cuisine, doing massages and spa treatments, and shopped till we dropped. For the first time, I wasn’t snapping photos of every single thing I was doing when I was traveling. It was difficult to resist the urge, but I wanted to lay off my camera and phone as much as possible, to soak up all the precious time I had with my loved ones. It’s not everyday we get to bond overseas like this! Disconnect to connect, y’know?! Only really snapped pics when we visited the tourist hot spots like Ku De Ta, Potato Head, Tanah Lot… The rest, I only managed to take mental photos of, and they will be mine to keep.

When people talk about Bali, they will either mention the temples, food or beaches. However, my favorite thing about Bali happens to be the shopping. I never thought I would ever say this, but the shopping in Bali is COMPLETELY out of this world!! It definitely has the most amount of beautiful boutiques I have ever seen clustered together!!!! Streets after street of non-stop shopping is what you’ll find in the Seminyak area. I can’t believe I forgot to snap a picture of the shopping district to show y’all!!! I was too busy trying on clothes every second I spent there. I would go back to Bali again just to shop there until I’m broke. Bangkok, please step aside. The type of clothing you’ll find in Bali was a match made in heaven for a girl like me… summery, unique, bright colored stunning pieces from independent designers at decent to cheap prices (depending where you shop at). I came back with like 20 new pieces of pretty clothing – needless to say my bank account took a hit. But it was all worth it!!!! I can’t say “I’ve got nothing to wear” for at least another few more months now. :)

Most importantly, the best thing that happened in Bali was having the luxury of spending quality time with my family, creating unforgettable memories together. Food, presents and family is everything I love about Christmas and I’m glad I got to indulge in those things every day. I have so much to be thankful for this year. Thank you mummy & UJ for buying me so many pretty things to make me happy and also for taking me on this vacation for Christmas!! ♥

Here’s a photo diary of my vacation to Bali below!

Bali from the clouds. Takes about 3 hours to fly there from SG!

.
.
.

Checking into our lush accommodation – Padma Resort!

 We’d originally booked a three room villa to stay in, but that turned out to be THE worst hotel experience I’ve had in my life. You won’t even believe how bad that was. That story will be for another post. Today’s post is meant to be a happy, carefree one. Thank god Padma Resort was top notch and made us feel so much better.

.
.
.

Hello, Janice and Jeremy. My brother and his gf makes a rare appearance on my blog, lol.

Getting them to take pictures is really difficult. I had to lie to them that I wasn’t going to post them on my blog. Woops!

Our first dinner was alfresco dining at Warisan!

Crab, pomelo, avocado and tomato roulade

Red capcisum & lobster linguine

Lost count of the number of foie gras we ate in Bali. Working to lose weight now after all the festive feasting damage done over the past month!!!

Panna cotta is one of my all time favorite desserts!

Gorgeous set up, isn’t it? All the places we had dinner at were great. Bali is full of cafes & restaurants serving up good food at reasonable prices!

.
.
.

Next day’s lunch next to a rice field.

Bali is so strange some times.

You get fancy boutiques selling designer clothes with each item costing at least $100 SGD and rightttt next to it you’ll find a rice paddy field. I guess that’s what people like about it – a commercialized place they can visit that still has its old cultural charms?

An hour’s drive out of the city into the countryside, we were surrounded by rice paddy fields stretching as far as the eye could see!!! Made for a very scenic drive indeed.

Thank you for taking care of me and being so nice throughout the trip! :) xx

Spot one of Bali’s most photogenic icons, Tanah Lot Temple behind me!!!

All those people (tiny figures in the background) standing at the base of the temple are crazyyy. They risk being drenched by crashing sea waves any time! In fact I saw a couple of people get really wet, with their DSLRs in hand. The whole area is covered with sea water when its high tide.

It looks so rustic and majestic, perched right at the water’s edge. I wish we could’ve gone in and taken a look around… but entrance to the temple is sacred, and reserved for local Balinese Hindus only!

.
.
.

Best thing I bought that trip were these SGD $1 fans that kept me from dying.

Sunset seaside dining at Potato Head, which everyone says is the place to be seen and to be in Bali!

Crab cake with avocados and caramelized pineapples

Cajun prawns

Halfway through our meal, we ran out onto the beach to snap these mandatory sunset shots..

My ice cream on my creme brulee melted as a consequence but I reckon these shots are well worth it!!! I like runny ice cream anyway. :P

This was supposed to be “RAWR I BREATHE FIRE” kinda photo but I think I failed. I look like I’m letting out a ginormous burp.

The Balinese sunset in its full glory ♥

.
.
.

Christmas dinner!!! Best meal of the trip award goes to Metis restaurant, hands down.

If you’re wondering why there are so many pictures of meal times and what else we were doing in Bali inbetween, you’d find us in changing rooms in boutiques or half asleep on massage beds.

Uh-huh more foie gras! I felt like a foie gras duck by the end of every meal.

My angus rib eye steak was melt-in-your-mouth-juices-bursting-with-every-bite kinda fantastic. It was so good, I almost wanted to cry. Really.

.
.
.

The end of my rather brief photo diary! See you next time for shopping, Bali.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas with your family / friends as well!!! Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all the mostest of love, luck, wealth and happiness.

 Love.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Chinese New Year 2012



I ♥ my family.

I may not spend a lot of time with them, but I cherish their presence whenever they’re around and I’m silently supporting everything they do. They have a special spot in my heart. Deep down inside I wish we would all meet up and hang out more often. But I understand that everyone has their own lives to lead. Everyone’s always so busy.

When I was growing up, mamma always drills this fact into my head: That if you don’t have family, then you have naught.

Chinese New Year used to be all about Ang Pao money and snacks to me as a kid.

Getting teased by my relatives for being chubby. Have my grades compared to my cousins. Watch my elder brother get hounded by aunties and uncles about getting married. And eating so much till I go into a food coma. Somewhere along the way I realized Chinese New Year is so much more than that.

…Things were different this year. I realized that I am 20 now. I realize that my younger cousins, whom I swore were only 8 years old just yesterday, are now teenagers and have grown up so fast.

As for the older ones, they just keep getting older. It breaks my heart to see my old aunties and uncle getting older and more frail. Especially my grandmother, because she is the only grandparent I am actually relatively close to. It makes me think about how some day they are going to be gone, and that Chinese New Year would be so quiet and different without them. In fact, I don’t see any point in celebrating it if they’re not around. They are all I know of family.

Every other year, I get annoyed by the same thing. By how all my Asian relatives talk in the top of their voices in the crudest language / dialect I have ever heard (Hokkien) and it sounds like a crazy market. They make such a ruckus, it makes my head explode. Then again I guess that’s how all old Asian people are. They have no normal speaking voice. It’s either not saying anything at all, or shouting at the top of their voice just to get their point across. This year, however, I enjoyed soaking up all that noise. I know I’ll miss it when I don’t get to be annoyed by it anymore.

That I’d rather a ruckus and being surrounded by kinship while it lasts, than loneliness. Being a kid on Chinese New Year is the best freakin’ thing ever. Just eat and eat and look cute and have relatives pinch your cheeks and stretch out your hand to receive your red packets filled. “Gong xi fa cai!” were the easiest words I’d ever uttered to receive free money.

Reunion dinner was at my uncle’s place. Everyone was dressed down so I didn’t think it was too polite to take pictures, thus this is all I have. It was so good though!!! Grandma’s cooking is the best. She makes my favorite dishes that I’ve grown up eating. The taste of familiarity is so comforting.

The next day, on Chu Yi itself, the celebration was at our place like always.

By 2pm my house was filled with people going “Xin nian kuai le!” and handshakes everywhere!

My CNY outfit!!! I wanted to buy this dress the moment I saw it in the store, but didn’t because of the price. I pondered over it for a few days but eventually forfeited the idea. Over lunch one day, I casually mentioned this dress I was eyeing to my mother. “I don’t have anything to wear for Chinese New Year!!! D:”

I didn’t expect that a few hours later, she’d go all the way down to the store in Orchard Road and buy it for me!!!! Thank you mummy ♥

Super yummeh steamboat that we have every year :D

Tang hoon, fresh veg, sotong balls, fish paste, sotong, pork liver, prawns, mushrooms & more!!!!

I don’t even eat steamboat outside but I can’t get enough of the ones we have at home because my mum makes the BEST soups and includes awesome ingredients that makes the soup tastier and tastier as minutes go by because it soaks up all the flavors from the raw ingredients.

My aunt and cousin, Ling Ling!

Wah she’s fast becoming so tall and pretty. She’s almost as tall as me (I’m about 1.7) and she is only like what, 12. I think she’s going to be taller than me next year!!!

I was halfway talking when Sam took this shot so I have the weirdest wry smile on my face. :3

A much better shot! After reviewing this shot on my camera, I noticed how the way I was holding the oranges looked like I was going “Oh hey! Take a look at my melons.” (or oranges in this case)

So I did a funny pose with my oranges over my boobs!!!! …But my cousin didn’t manage to take the right shot :(

I guess this means he wasn’t looking at my chest. Which is a good thing considering he is my cousin lol.

Googly eyes! Me & my cousin Shu Yuan who looked extra pretty that day :)

I’ve spent the most time with her out of all my cousins. Back in the day, my kindergarten was near her old house, so after school she’d come and pick me up and walk me home. Then I’d bug her endless;y to bring me to the playground, to fly a kite with me, to teach me how to play the piano because she was always good at everything….

I wonder if she still sees me as that lil kid or does she see me as a young woman now? It must be so weird. I sooo cannot envision my little cousins becoming women. That’s just… wrong. Lol. I know it’s just part of nature but I feel like it’s defying the laws of nature!!! I mean, how could my lil cuzzies not stay innocent, young and cute forever?! As you can tell recently I’m having serious trouble copying with the concept of growing up, growing old and change.

My handsome cousin and my cute grandmother who perpetually has her eyes closed in pictures hahaha

Proud moment for me and Sam when my cousin started talking about Shiberty’s Sweets and showed my relatives some of my cake designs on my website!!!

Everyone was singing praises and going, “Wah so talented!!! Wah go set up a shop!! So capable” and I just stood there beside them watching their reaction and beaming away. I think this is the first time they’d ever seen my designs properly coz I started this less than a year ago.

Ruiwen (the dude in the cool metallic purple shirt above above) told me he’d only recently found out about my cake designing, and wanted to order one for his girlfriend’s birthday. So out of curiosity, he asked 3 random friends (who were not my blog readers or anything) if they’ve heard about Shiberty’s Sweets. He said surprisingly all 3 of them knew who I was and what I did, one of them have even ordered from me before!!! He was very impressed.

Needless to say, I was very pleased.

Food, food, glorious food! What would Chinese New Year be without an abundance of food?!

Yu Sheng that Sam spontaneously brought home one day! I had never expected him to do that because 1) He’s not celebrating with his family, he didn’t need to go the extra mile, but he did. and 2) That’s just really sweet. 3) I didn’t even think of it myself.

He said, “Here, I bought this for your family on Chinese New Year, this will make your mum smile.”

GIRLS, DID I GET LUCKY OR WHAT????….

I actually lou hei-ed a long time ago, way before CNY even happened – at the start of 2012. Our family went to eat at Kam Boat’s newest outlet that recently opened and my mum ordered Yu Sheng for just the 6 of us. I was like, “You siao, Chinese New Year still got so long, why you so kia su order now??? Got few weeks leh!”

And mama said “I want to lou first!!! Take ALL the luck first, before other people get to it!!!!”

LOLOLOL.

Sam super cute lor. I wore Cheongsams the past few years, so he wore traditional outfits to match me.



CNY 2010

CNY 2011

…This year, I decided to wear white lace for a change.

He also chose to wear a white colored shirt. :P

You think you very cute ah, always wear matching?! Actually couples that wear matching outfits are quite sickening to look at. Guess we are one of them LOL

The lighting was sooooo good in my living room!!!! Shoulda taken more pictures!!!

Mum giving bro an ang pao as he recites lame four-word-prosperity-idioms in Chinese. I say it’s lame because his Chinese is as bad as mine. LOL I asked my mum, “Eh, wish you in English can a not?”

She laughed and said “can.”

So I wished her.. “Hope you win at MBS every time”, “Hope you stay forever young and beautiful and wrinkle-free”, “Hope you will be healthy and happy forever!!!”

…Alamak. *face palm* Next time before Chinese New Year, I’d go google some chim Chinese idioms and memorize + recite them over and over in my head, so my mother will be impressed.

Dunno what they saying here. But my mum is probably going “HOPE YOU PUT ON MORE WEIGHT” lol she never stops saying I’m too fat or that Janice is too skinny. Asian parents.. You can never please them.

Fat also cannot, skinny also cannot. “A” for exam also not good enough, must get A PLUS PLUS!!!! O.O



As evening approaches, everyone gathers around the TV watching Reign Of Assassins and Where Got Ghost?” together.

They especially enjoyed the second show, bursting into laughter every other minute. Asians + Superstition go together like Soda + Fries!

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Took some mandatory group pictures before everyone went home at night!!!!

I was singing “ALL THE SINGLE LADIES!!!! Oh oh oh oh oh oh~~~” and swaying my butt back and forth, as I was taking this shot of my aunties. Nobody giggled except Sam. I love that we have the same stupid sense of humor.

Everything is hilarious when you are us.

Handsome boys and the matriarch of them all!!!!

Not enough uncles to take group picture, so just throw in the cousins + my Vietnamese boyfriend who is not even blood related… LOL (that would be gross and illegal)

COUSINS!!! ^.^.. Though it’s not totally complete……


I miss you, Linda. Wish you could be here to see me grow up, to see what your little cousin has become. Wish we had the chance to grow up together and eat steamboat with the rest of the family and play ban luck and do silly things together. I will keep the memories we shared close to me and you live on in my heart. You were always so nice to me.
I hope that you are at peace wherever you are.

…And that was how I spent my Chinese New Year in 2012.

This is a random fact to end my blog post with.

I am no longer bitter about my family not being the type that celebrates Christmas. (I LOVE X’MAS. And always sulked because we’re not Christians so we don’t celebrate it much at all.)

Because I now acknowledge we have a different tradition of our own. And it’s just as good, and in some ways, even better. Who needs presents, when you can get straight out cash???

Lol I joke.

Us Chinese people have Chinese New Year, that one time of the year that will bring us all together, no matter what. Although I don’t really get why it’s called “Chinese New Year” or how it’s a New Year at all for Chinese… I am more than willing to tolerate the DONG DONG DONG QIANG music for a month everywhere I go, just to spend quality time with these people I care about.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Oh yeah, P.S mandatory vain pictures before I go.

I hope your Chinese New Year was fabulous too!!!

Now the question is… how do I lose all that weight I’ve put on from stuffing my face the whole of past week?????

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Soleil

Having a lift that opens directly into the apartment made me feel like Blair Waldorf for a day.

…..What’s that? Delusion? Perhaps just slightly.

Love that black coffee table and carpet!

Chandeliers make any home look instantly more welcoming and classier.

Ugly ladder beside me coz cleaning for the new place is still in the works…

Awesome huge balcony in the living room that lights up the whole place beautifully. Too bad there’s nothing particularly interesting to look at, though I do like the openness and it brings in fresh air and windy breezes.

I take one step out of the house & into the lift, and take another step out one floor above to find this sanctuary!!!

Every new age condo has to have this – a private jacuzzi for your residents to lounge in!!! All the more reason to invite your friends over :*

*over excited dorky smile*

Bahahahhahaa Nicholas you are so stupid ♥

Because best friends small each others feet like it’s the normal thing to do.

We all have that one spastic friend who spoils our otherwise-pretty pictures……

There we go. LOL

When it got wayyyy too hot in the jacuzzi due to Singapore’s awful weather, we sought solace in the equally gorgeous pool instead!!!

Boys will be boys!

I thought Sam’s exposed nipples looked rather offensive so I photoshopped them away. LOLOL. I called him over and asked, “Hey, notice anything strange about this pic?”

And he’s like… “Why is my chest so fair and wide? o_O”

……”:O!!! WHERE ARE MY NIPPLES?!?!?!”

“Jess… you look kinda big in this one, and I don’t think you can photoshop this.”

Me: “Nonsense! I can photoshop anything.”

*looks at the picture* …Oh.

/End of picture spam from yesterday’s happy day!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
Previous Posts12345