Thursday, October 2, 2014

How Instagram Can Make You a Happier Person

Instagram has helped me achieve more happiness and joy on a daily basis. It all started rather subconsciously but when I reflected upon the process, it came upon me that instagram has become meaningful in my daily life.

This comes with a caveat, though. Because a large majority of us engage in social media platforms with a need for exhibitionism- even if there's the slightest bit. We post with the thought and motivation of wanting to show others what we have done/are going through. So mine began with that;  wanting to show people what I'm going through. Specifically, I wanted to show people that I was happy (I find it hard to show unhappiness on social media platforms because.... It's just awkward for me)

And so everyday, in my mundane everyday life of working office hours, I search for reasons to be happy, search for pictorial evidences to show that I am thankful and blessed for every single day spent. This kickstarted the whole process.

I would cycle home from work and look at the magnificent sunset (which stings my eyes but I still turn to look at it anyway), and think about how beautiful the world is. I would take photos with people I've gathered with, and consciously appreciate them for their company, and think about how great the conversation was. I think this is somehow related to my previous post about how I'm enjoying conversations once again. I would walk along the streets and see elderly couples hand-in-hand and awe at how great love and companionship is.

And that's how I've become more open to sharing, and more joyful about it. Because sharing experiences has now become a conscious and mindful search for happiness in my own life. So instagram has made me a happier person ^^

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


a whirlpool of thoughts have been flooding my mind recently and they've taken the forms of verbal diarrhea, long social media posts, erratic surfing behavior and never-ending conversations. There has been a change, however subtle, but still evident, at least to myself.

Perhaps entering the working world has changed me, and perhaps being more relaxed and stress-free has changed me. It comes to the surprise of many that I am
Actually an introvert. It's a conundrum that I find it hard to explain and difficult for others to understand, but I will try to explain it now.

Many perceive me as an outgoing personality, because I (generally) do not fear social situations. I face very minimal anxiety when I meet new people, and I barely experience panic when I have to talk to a new group of people. Therefore, when I meet new people, i warm up very quickly and blend in relatively well within a short time. Because I feel strongly for many things and am very much an opinionated individual, I never am short of things to say/share in a conversation. In all, I find it easy to start an participate in conversations, and I am thankful for that.

Having said that, many find it shocking when I share that I am actually pretty introverted. Meaning, although I have no issues joining conversations and interacting with others, I actually like being alone most of the time. I like to read, bake, write, run. They all involve me-time. I find it a huge drag to arrange meet ups just for the sake of 'catch-ups' because.... It takes a lot of motivation to keep conversations ongoing for an afternoon.

and I've been changing I've found myself enjoying conversations more, because they connect me with people. I've found myself initiating meet-ups more, because I simply want to. I want to share my experiences with people and I want to hear stories from other people. And this is a huge change, because I used to feel a lack of need to share, even though I still take a huge interest in what people share with me. Conversations have become energizing instead of painful for me, and I've found them more meaningful.

It's interesting how this change has evolved, and perhaps it's because I used to be so burnt out that little energy was left to devote to such aspects. Now that I've so much less to be busy with, I've more time to pursue more exciting things that I become more excited to share with others about. Now that I'm seeing my friends less, spending time with them becomes so much more vital.

It's a healthy change, and I'm happy about it. Work-life balance is a bitch to attain and I'm thankful for the circumstances in in which makes it easy to achieve at the moment. We are all so afraid of changes. People change, situations change, and we tend to think that changes are often negative. For me, this is a positive change.a healthy, happy one. So thank god for the change.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Shabu-sushi Buffet Restaurant @ Nex

23 Serangoon Central, B1-38/39/40 Nex Mall

I've never felt this cheated of my money from my meal before. It sure was a tempting option to me because I was extremely hungry, was looking for a halal option and was craving for Japanese food. and Tada! Shabu-sushi Buffet Restaurant appeared while I waiting for my glasses from Owndays.

So here's the price:
weekday lunch: 17.90 ++
weekday dinner: 19.90++
weekend lunch: 20.90++
weekend dinner: 24.90++

The layout of the place was... terrible. signages were put up with A4 paper and clear tape, paint was peeling off... it was so bad I didn't bother taking a photo of it.

I was given a choice of 4 soup bases, of which I could choose 2. They included beef soup, chicken soup, suki-yaki and tom yam soup. I got the tom yam soup which was decent, and the chicken soup which tasted no different from boiled water.

The service was poor. When I went in, the waiters just stared with this blank look and did not even ask how many people were dining together. They did not even bother putting the induction cooker and the pot into the in-built hole on the table. Instead, they chose to leave it on the table for us and the table was just crammed. I looked over at the other tables and they actually had their pots nicely fitted into the hole. :(

They served sushi and tempura. The sushi rice was hard, tasteless. I have never, in my entire life, eaten such terrible sushi. The tempura was stale, disgusting.

The shabu ingredients were delivered to us on a conveyor belt. Basically the shabu only served cabbage, once in a blue moon some mushrooms and spinach appeared. Regarding meat, most of the time chicken was seen, but we stopped eating the chicken after our first serving of it because it was stale and tasted like crap. The beef shabu was the only consolation, but it only appeared thrice on the belt throughout the 1.5 hours I was dining there. Then there was sutchi (dory) slices... which I got sick of eating because it was the only decent food there.

There was a free flow of drinks and ice cream. There were only two choices of ice cream flavour, and the restaurant did not even bother to provide ice cream scoops. Instead, they provided metal ladles placed in a cup of water that was saturated with old ice-cream.

and to round it off... here's what I saw on hungrygowhere:

And this sums it up. I have NEVER eaten such horrendous food before, not to mention i paid around 22 dollars for it. Just don't make the same mistake as me. Really. For two people, I sure regretted not buying $45 dollars worth of sushi from cold storage.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

3 ingredient nutella brownie

Yup so i decided to bake this batch of brownies following the video and it turned out nice and chewy. Although the video used a food processor for the mixing, I used a whisk and simply mixed it till the texture of the mixture was smooth. My brownies turned out to be chewy and full of the nutty, chocolatey flavour which most of my friends loved. However, I prefer something less nutty and more chocolatey so I will be trying a batch of it by adding melted chocolate to it.. sometime this week. Will update soon!  Meanwhile, here's the end product of the first try:

Japanese Cemetery Park and The Coffee Daily

I haven't posted in so long and I do admit this is due to the severe lack of discipline. But here I am with a couple of updates. So today we went down to explore the Upper Serangoon area. The first destination that we headed to was the Japanese Cemetery Park. Little known to many Singaporeans, it is the largest Japanese cemetery in Southeast Asia which contains up to 910 tombs of young Japanese female prostitutes, soldiers, civilians as well as convicted war prisoners. Despite its history, it is actually a very peaceful and scenic walk through the park. It is approximately 1.4km walk from Kovan MRT through a private housing area.

Address: 825B Chuan Hoe Ave, 549853 
(Note: there is only one entrance as indicated by Google Map, so do not attempt to go in through other parts of the park)

Although you really can't do much within the cemetery (well technically it's a very pleasant place to relax and meditate if you are comfortable enough with it), i guess it's really quite cool and interesting to see. The whole place is very well-maintained and strolling through it was a rather pleasant experience. 

After the visit to the park we visited The Coffee Daily, which was a 800m walk away. The cafe is located at 75 Brighton Crescent.

It was a really nice cafe with somewhere for everyone to just sit and chill to enjoy a conversation, a book or just a cuppa coffee.

We got a cup of Mocha for $6 and it was oh-kay. If you're a fan of coffee, I would suggest Lola's or Forty Hands which serves coffee which are wayyy better. We also ordered a cup of Iced Mocha at $6.50 and our advice is: don't. It was bland, lack of flavor... bad. We also got a slice of the Berry Yoghurt Tart ($6.50) which had a nice crust but there wasn't anything wow about it. In all, it's a nice place for a chill but if you want better coffee and dessert, it's better to head somewhere else :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013


So I went to Melaka for the past three days and I shall not procrastinate about writing up this post!

General Tips
Visiting Melaka on a Monday is equivalent to visiting a ghost town. Shops are closed, river is uncleared and noone is around. However, this leaves it perfect for photo-taking and walking around to see the scenery is a breeze. The city turns alive on tuesdays, where it bustles with activities in the day.

Also, Jonker Street night market is open only on weekends!

Transport There
Being all reliant on the internet, I was thankful and happy to find that I could book buses between Singapore and Malaysia via Easibook. It works pretty much the same as any flight-booking company like Expedia.

The cheapest coaches drop passengers off at Melaka Sentral. The coach from Singapore (Golden Mile Complex) to Melaka Sentral on Sri Maju was 22SGD/pax. There are other companies that go to hotels in the heart of Melaka but these tickets can cost up to 35SGD. Obviously I went for the cheapest option. On a sidenote, Sri Maju's bus is extremely spacious and comfortable. Just bring along your own phone for entertainment on board!

As you can see in the map below, Melaka Sentral is quite a distance from the heart of Melaka. It is approximately 3.2km from Jonker Street. The cheapest taxi fare in is approximately 15RM (6SGD). However, there can be some taxi drivers that quote up to 25RM(10SGD). If you are curious about walking in, I took approximately 45minutes to an hour. 

photo courtesy of

The good thing about Easibook is that you can choose different bus companies for your to and return trip. This means that choosing a Malaysian-based bus company will allow you to save a lot more on your return trip. For me, I took chose the Malacca Singapore Express for 21RM. Sadly, the bus from this company is in a terrible condition and I am glad that this is a relatively short road trip. 

P/S: if you don't have the chance to print the tickets, make sure you have the invoice number in the same email as well as your passport for ticket collection. 

I did the booking for my accomodation on which provides a comprehensive network of hotels, hostels and guest houses in Melaka. Something that I realised about Melaka is that there are numerous well-maintained guest houses at really good rates. If you don't need the luxury, it is actually a very fun experience to live within one of those old houses along the streets or river! Just make sure you research well enough if you require facilities such as wifi, ensuite toilets, breakfast, etc.

I went for kawan-kawan guest house. A room with an attached bathroom for two people for two nights, it cost a total of 76SGD. The guest house lies in the heart of Jonker street which makes it really accessible to tourist attractions as well as riverside pubs/bars in the night time. The guest house provides free wifi, is super clean and well maintained. The rooms are air-conditioned too!

There are many other guest houses as I've mentioned, and here are some we spotted in the vicinity of Jonker Street.

 And here comes the sightseeing part of it! All the places I've posted are within walking distance from Jonker's Street.

Riverside scenery


Tourist Attractions

There are plentiful of such trishaws around that blast really loud music. Step out on a weekday night and the music from one of them can make the town sound really happening.

Walk along jonker street and you will spot popular Mr. Melaka whom everyone is trying to take a photo with.

Christ Church and the Clock Tower

This mini amusement park opens daily from 4pm to midnight. Entrance at 5RM (2SGD), it features a mini-ferris wheel, pirate ship and jumping trampoline.

Remains of the fort on St.Paul Hill that held the portuguese against the Dutch's invasion.

Interiors of the church atop St. Paul Hill
Church of St.Xavier
Interior of the Church of St. Xavier

There are lots of really adorable kittens around town if you're a cat lover.

Before I end off the blog post, I need to make a special mention regarding this shop that sells Halal Chicken Rice Balls. Trust me, it is so good I wanted to eat it all three days I was there.

This is the first time that I have tried chicken rice balls and I've always thought it was no different from chicken rice, just that it was shaped in a ball. Got very special meh? YES. While normal chicken rice was like separate grains of rice, chicken rice balls are hard on the outside and soft on the inside. It was like biting a rice ball and following it was a burst of ginger-garlic-chicken flavour that was sooo fragrant. The best way to eat it is to put the whole thing in your mouth without cutting it up. Ladies, it's unglam but just do it! IT IS AWESOME. (ok i admit i am a bit high thinking about the chicken rice balls.)

The only downside to it was that it is very far off Jonker Street, so it would be more convenient for you if you drive. Then again, you could walk over and gratify yourself with as many chicken rice balls as you like later on!

275, Jalan Melaka Raya 3

Spot this sign along Jalan Melaka on the side of Mahkota Mall and you are almost there!

The shop is really cooling with a mist fan and good ventilation, making it really comfortable after our long walk there. 

In case you've been curious about how big one chicken rice ball is, it is bite-size. Probably smaller than a ping pong ball. Or think's mini donuts and there you have it. You can choose to order the chicken by half/whole/serving. For two people, we went for 2 servings of chicken (a mix of steamed and roasted chicken). The shopowner recommended 10 rice balls to begin with but we ended up having 20 :o

Each serving of chicken was 4RM ($1.60SGD) and each rice ball was 0.30RM ($0.12SGD). Special mention to the sour plum juice that retails at 2.20RM ($0.88SGD): it is an awesome thirst quencher, especially for a hot day. You can skip the ice lemon tea because it is quite poorly made. 

All in all, Melaka is a nice town for the food (Chendol, satay celak, hiong pia, dao sa pia, chicken rice balls), architecture and history. A 2d1n trip would suffice to see most of the town. Skip the national museums because they are poorly equipped and disappointing. However, visting private-run museums such as the Nonya heritage museum that lie along Jonker street can be extremely enriching.