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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Birthday 2014: Birthday Meet Ups and Pig Outs Part 1

~*Meet Up with 上半年 Babies at Professor Brawn*~

After a relaxing hang out at Candice's place a while back with the 上半年 Babies clique, we agreed to meet up more often. The name "上半年 Babies" which means the "first half of the year babies" was coined for our Whatsapp group chat for we have January-, February- and March-born babies in this group. We often meet up during that period to celebrate everyone's birthday except mine. It all started here in 2007. Hence during the last meet up, the gals agreed that we should also meet up for my birthday. It was a super spontaneous meet up with them during my birthday eve (24 May) as it was only arranged and confirmed the day before. Boy was I glad that everyone managed to do some shift in their schedule for the meet up to materialize.

HY recommended Professor Brawn Cafe at Novena Square which is social enterprise. The founders are parents and friends who want to make a difference to the special needs community. Their dream is to provide opportunities for jobs, showcase of special talents and to raise awareness and contributions by supporters of the cause.

Professor Brawn offers Western cuisine at mid-range cafe prices so if you like good food at affordable prices with a slice of philanthropy, this is a place to visit! For people patronizing this cafe, do show some support by being a little more understanding and patient towards the employees. The waiter who served us was a little slow in understanding but really chatty. For that short 1 minute, he regaled us with stories of the huge Fish and Chips in Australia.

We were seated in a "bird cage" and were the only customers then. However, we were soon joined by many others as the time passed.

The menu takes the form of an encyclopaedia.

Sam's Fish and Chips was the cafe's signature dish.

HY's Gourmet Rosti and Sausage was another signature dish. I do love their sausages a lot even if they are a little on the salty side.

SY's dunno-what Spaghetti and Sausage. Her sausage tasted good too. I can't decide whether I preferred HY or SY's sausage coz both tasted just as good.

My Spaghetti Bolognaise tasted like SY's spaghetti. Not pictured was Candice's Spaghetti Vongole. Vongole and Bolognaise are my absolute favourite spaghetti. Professor Brawn's Vongole smelled so heavenly, the aroma of the clams and white wine tickled my nose with delight even as Candice was sitting at the farthest end of the table.

We had Ice Cream and Waffle to share for desserts.

And as if we hadn't had enough savoury food, we also had Calamari to share. Thank you for the treat, gals! It was a delicious and meaningful lunch.

Samantha gave all of us old school Super Sour sweets after being inspired by a blog post chronicling the 80s babies' childhood memories which we read together during the last meeting. And because Sam had to leave for a meeting with her client, she was absent from all our photos after that.

We were more thrilled by the packaging than the sour sweets inside.

As we were indecisive about which flavours to choose, we decided to split the flavours equally among ourselves as seen in this anigif.

All of us tore the packet in different ways.
The rough gals: HY's packet was totally ravaged. SY tore a big portion of the packet.
The not-so-rough gals: I tore a teeny little strip at the side. Candice was the neatest. She was the only one who could pull the top seal apart. We all marvelled at her magic fingers.

They knew each other since pre-primary.

I think there's a dark-coloured theme here.

We should superimpose Sam in.

Attempting to take pictures with kids is the toughest. It was a good thing that on that day, I managed to capture lots of relatively clear and cute shots of Audrey. That was something we often failed to do.

We had to keep her hands busy by offering new "toys" to play with in order for her to stay still enough for the camera.

She could be smiling cheekily one moment and frowning the next.

I felt that this shot of Audrey was beautiful except that it was overexposed. Love her Precious Moments eyes.

Another accidental capture which I like was when she was playing Peek-a-Boo.

I made an anigif of her playing Peek-a-Boo. Hope it is displaying properly.

Cheeky-face Audrey was so excited when she knew she could peer through the tinted glass without popping her head at the top for Peek-a-Boo.

I managed to capture so many cute shots of Audrey that I cannot decide which to feature so here's a collage.

High 5!

And byebye!

My 2nd birthday card for the year came from HY. I don't usually like Victoria Secrets scent as they are often too sweet for my liking but Secret Charm smells light and pleasant.
I can't stop raving about Cuccio Naturale Papaya Green Tea Cuticle Revitalizer Complex that Sam gave. My nails are really weak and soft. After doing gelish manicure twice, my nail surface is totally rough with white specks no matter how much the nail had grown out and cut. Constant application of moisturizer and argan oil did not remove the white specks. However, they immediately lightened and smoothened out after I applied this oil. The cucumber pads are for my puffy eye bags.

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~*Meet Up with Viv at Real Food*~

Instead of being sick of Mondays, there was something to look forward to the Monday after my birthday. I was gonna meet up with Viv who had lots of updates to share about her new direction in life. She chose Real Food at Square 2, a cafe self-run by 'a team of passionate and stubborn individuals who believe we are what we eat".

Real Food café is free from processed ingredients, artificial preservatives and Trans-fat. Last but not least, they are meat free! Viv and I would try to adopt a vegetarian diet at least once a week. Going meat-free one day per week is a powerful way to reduce your ecological footprint and improve your health. Making this small change in your diet can have a dramatic effect on a variety of social and environmental issues we face today.

The menu provides a detailed description of each dish.

Do you know that we are consuming too much processed foods in our diet? Processed foods are often cheap and convenient. Real Food explains why they are too good to be cheap. Honestly, I find their prices really reasonable.

We also ordered the Organic Potato Wedges and Assorted Mushrooms Bruschetta.

Yes, I'm cutting down on tea in my diet but their tea sounded too cute not to order.

I mean check out the names like "Calming Tummy Tea", "Troubled Times Tea", "Liberate your Liver Tea" and the likes. I think I need all of these!

Viv had the Spinach Arrabiata Whole Wheat Penne while I had Assorted Vegetable Balls Pasta.

We ordered a little too much! The mains were delicious at first bite but somehow the pasta grew really dry and heavy with each bite. Also, vegetarian "meat balls" are really filling in general and 4 was a little too much for me. I love the Assorted Mushrooms Bruschetta best!

I got a Lego Doctor souvenir from her trip to Legoland, Malaysia. On it, she wrote "an apple a day keeps the doctor away".

It was a great meet up and catch up!

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I had wanted to consolidate all the meet ups with friends in one post but there are simply too many pictures for a single post, so I broke them up into 2 parts.

As mentioned before, people used to say that I had so many groups of good friends that I had a birth week instead of a birth day. Even as I grow older and mellow down, it is still pretty much that way! LOL. The only difference would be that instead of hanging out late at night to party, we would simply gather for a good chat over a meal. Sometimes the meet ups for belated birthday meals could stretch right up to June. I would just treat these as get-togethers and catching up with friends instead of celebrating my birthday.

Stay tuned for Part 2.


  1. wowwww so many food pics! makes me hungry hahaa

    that lego person is so cute, i love the lego store

    1. I used to love playing Lego, Sandy, but I gave all the bricks away. How I regretted it. The Lego now is quite different from Lego of the past. I love the old Lego anytime.

  2. Heyy Jo <3 I know I keep vanishing and coming back again :D (it's Keki from my old blog but i do like reading your posts.
    you always go to amazing cafés and restaurants ^-^ so jealous ♥ I can't believe the menus look like enzyclopedias. Seems like we don't have many ''creative'' restaurants here in Germany.
    Audrey is a cutie pie. I wish my friends already had kids haha :)
    Best wishes!
    (at least we can catch up on instagram sometimes:))

    1. Hey Keki. I still prefer calling you “Keki” as I mentioned on Instagram before, “Keki” sounds cute and casual like a nickname for a good friend. I think I haven’t visited you in a while too and gotta check out your blog soon. And yes, it’s good we are also connected on IG so we could still catch up there.That's always a good thing!

  3. This looks like a wonderful time, the sweet little one is so cute!! It's always nice to meet up with friends. I hope you have a great week :) xx

    1. Friends are the best things that one could have, Kizzy. Of course, it is always a blessing to have the right kinda of friends too and I’m always thankful for this.

  4. So much yummy food! Good to see you enjoyed such fun meet ups for your birthday Jo!

    To answer your question, I've been using that Amarte sunscreens for over 3 weeks now and haven't had any issues with clogged pores but I know what you mean about products with the microscopic particles. I think as formulations get more advanced, hopefully this will occur less.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    1. I haven’t dared to slap on those Japanese sunscreens with microscopic particles in a long while and have stopped using sunscreens thinking that my BB cream should suffice.Thank you for the updates, Rowena.

  5. So much food!!ahah The cafe looks really nice and I find the Real Food restaurant very interesting.
    I really like the idea of the restaurant not using any processed ingredients, and though I am not vegan,
    I do also appreciate meat free dishes from time to time(: Glad you had a great birthday!!^_^
    Also, Audrey looks adorable, especially in that cute dress!!Thank you so much for sharing with us(:

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Dianna. I have the same sentiments as you about not being a vegan but appreciating meat-free dishes. I love my meat but there are some days when too much meat is too much.

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you for dropping by. Part 2 will be up soon!

  7. It must have been such a wonderful evening, to have your friends with you.
    Professor Brawn cafe seems like such a cool place to go and the concept of the enterprise is really awesome! The bird cage is definitely original but a very lovely idea and the food just looks delicious. You managed to take such sweet pictures and she’s super cute and such lovely eyes.
    You really looked like you had a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see your next post!
    Kisses and take care.

    1. Friends are the best things that one could have, Alexandra. Of course, it is always a blessing to have the right kinda of friends too and I’m always thankful for this. Indeed Audrey is a sweet little baby doll. You never fail to have such lovely comments that I look forward to seeing you here always. xoxo

  8. Hi Jo! Sorry I havn't been as active on the blog world as I am on IG... but I'm here to catch up! It must feel amazing to have all your friends (and cute babies) celebrating your birthWEEK with you hehehe, those dishes look so delicious I am literally staring down at my brownie and feeling kinda sad about my life. ;( You look super gorgeous too, and I'm gonna go stalk on your pics now! Hehheeh Cya on IG!!!

    xoxo, Mango ❤
    Blog | Latest Video

    1. Friends are the best things that one could have. I'm always counting my blessings for having the right kinda of friends too. Hahaha... You got a brownie! That's a great life! Always happy to see you here, babelicuous KERINA. So happy that I don't have to "mango" you anymore. Lol

  9. Thank you so much for your cute comment^^
    Yes, we're blogger friends since some years now, I'm often reading your blog but I rarely write any comments which I'm sorry for, just always busy (and often lazy T_T)..
    Thanks for your kind words, they made me happy^^
    All the food pics and the pics of you and your friends look so wunderful^^

    1. You're most welcome, Theresa. Ah, I didn't know that. Maybe your name or url changed slightly. No wonder I find you so familiar. Thanx for your sweet comments too and I hope we continue to stay in touch! Will visit your blog more often!

  10. I think my comment disappeared (I typed it, then logged in--which usually is not a problem). I'll try again.

    My son has special needs, but I would visit PBC even if he didn't--for the cause and the food. I like the look of your dish, but I would probably get an order of the Calamari just for me. Or the fish and chips. Or both. Lately, I could really use the cucumber patches...or more sleep! Audrey looks like a sweet girl. Was she born at the right time to be a member of the Babies clique? Since I am on a whole wheat kick, I would probably order the same as Viv. I hope the Lego doctor brings you good health.

    PS - I don't see any overlap between the Babies clique and the Bimbo clique. I think I could belong to both. :D

    1. I think your comment disappeared too coz this is the only one I see. I didn't know that fact about your son and I know you would visit the cafe even if he didn't. I haven't used the cucumber patches but I would be sure to think of you now when I do. And I need the sleep too. Yes, my friend wanted a 1st half of the year baby so much and she got her wish. Audrey was born in January. I think you would be able to hang out with any of my groups of friends!

  11. What a nice get-together! The food, especially the fish and chips, looks so amazing! And I like the concept of the restaurant.

    1. Thank you, Anouka. Indeed, I agree on the concept of the restaurant.

  12. Hi Jo! Thank you so much for the heart-felt comment and the followed as well:). I followed back your bloglovin and KFC:). Cannot forget to thank you for making your relaxing weekend time to visiting my blog and wrote me the beautiful and really darling words. According to your post:). Nothing is better than hanging and meeting with the gal pals plus the yummy foods:). every menus are just making me so hungry lol. you and the ladies are looks so happy togehter and lovely as well.. Awe I'm loving the cute picture of little Audrey!

    I wish you have a beautiful and relaxing weekend with what you are going to do:)


    1. You're most welcome, Tanya. Thank you so much for the follow, your lovely comments and for being such a sweetie too. I had a little giggle at your typo of "GFC" to "KFC" as it made me crave for fried chicken and whipped potato now. Let's continue to keep in touch!

  13. Looks like you had a wonderful time Jo :) All that food definitely deserves pigging out!! Thanks for your sweet comment! I'm following you via GFC now! I love the peekaboo gif you made of Audrey :) She's adorable!

    1. Thank you for your sweet comments and follow, June. Hope we continue to keep in touch!

  14. Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting, Julie. Love seeing newcomers here.

  15. Looks like you had a great time! The food looks so delicious, especially the mushroom bruschetta!

    1. Yes I did, Audrey. Thank you for your comment. =)

  16. Happy belated birthday dear. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Thx for sharing your precious pics with us. Nice blog here. Would you like to follow each other on GFC? Please let me know on my blog so I can follow back. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lenya. I love seeing newcomers around. I would usually follow back if we have enough meaningful exchanges and connections. Will drop by your blog soon and looking forward to seeing you around more often. =)

  17. Let me begin by showering you with (belated) birthday cheer darling! It looks like you've had a magical month of celebrations with great friends - as it should be. I love that you all come together to celebrate as one, rather than individual gatherings every second night! It makes much more sense. I've noticed as I've gotten older (urgh, groan) late night soirees turn into brunches since it's just easier that way. We all lead separate lives now, some even have babies so weekends are usually just chill out days because you seriously need to rest! (Urgh, being old sucks! lol) Now, whenever I hit up Singapore next I'll have to come find you because you know some really cool places. I love that "birdcage" cafe, that looks like an instagramers dream no?! And what interesting food! An oversized sausage on top of spaghetti! Hahaha love! And boy does that look tasty. And so does that clean-eating joint. That menu looks seriously delish! I'd be a vegetarian if I didn't like chicken so much hahaha. I actually don't eat a lot of meat - I don't like the taste! It just tastes weird for me probably because I am weird!

    Little Audrey is so precious! You caught so many wonderful shots of her, I do like the overexposed shot though, too bad it's on the bright side. Is it possible to photoshop or edit it on your phone? Though I don't know if it will also destroy the tones in her face, but it could be worth a shot. And the anigif of the hide and seek was adorable - works well on my end! BTW if your looking to strengthen nails, revitanail is awesome. But I don't know if it's available where you live. I used to be a nail biter - like compulsive and bad and the only way to grow them was with gel nails, but of course they destroy them. So after I'd remove those gels and got left with paper thin nails I'd put that on. You do one coat every day and after seven days remove it (I think, it has been a while) and eventually they grew to what they are now. I don't know if you've seen them on Instagram - not that I obsessively post pics about it lol but they're pretty rad now. Like I said before whenever I get to Singapore I'll be sure to bring you some then!


    1. I smiled to myself when I read your comment off my phone from my email. You're the sweetest, Sonia. Oh no, you don't sound old at all. I'm the old one. Hahaha... And I totally agree with you about as we grow up, we just don't have that much time anymore and usually meet up with friends would be over a meal and weekends. I love to have my hang-out-at-home weekends a lot especially when consecutive weekdnds are spent outside with lots of activities and events to attend. These are signs of ageing right? Hehehe...

      Actually I visited PBC again and I realised that when seen from opposite, it isn't a bird cage but a globe, metal skeletal globe perhaps. Oooh... I love meat a lot but I do not quite like the strong meat smell for certain pork and lamb. It is good to cut meat off your diet. Since you're already fine living w/o meat but chicken, it is quite healthy to just go w/o the chicken once every few days.

      I've already tried my best to edit the overexposed shot of Little Audrey but to no avail. I do not use Photoshop, only a very basic free Photoscape software which gets me most of what I want on normal days. Photoshop might probably do the trick. I'm so gonna check out if we have revitanails in Singapore and would trawl your Instagram account soon!

  18. that waffle and ice cream look so good! hahaha great times jo!

  19. Alright, so I'm finally sitting down to catch up on your posts!
    I feel like the older I get, the more conscious I am of what I eat and what I put on my face (i.e skincare and makeup) and where my money should be going (e.g. charities), so I love the idea of the philanthropy restaurant and more eco-conscious restaurants! Of course, sometimes restaurants focused on 'natural' meals can be pretty pricey (;-;) but looking at the prices and the little paragraph on the Real Food menu, the prices are pretty decent! (I think it's pretty sad that farmers only earn 10-ish cents per chicken, especially when you go to the supermarket and see how much chicken is for sale and low the prices's definitely unsustainable and an unhealthy relationship with the environment. I think I might even try and go vegetarian once a day per week because of this post, to be honest)

    On a lighter note, I love those soda candies and the way they fizz in the mouth! I can't remember if I did wish you a happy birthday, but in case I didn't, happy belated, and it looks like you had an amazing time with your friends!

    1. Totally on the same leaf and I feel like you too, Vanessa. The older I get, the more conscious I am of many things and I often try to alter lifestyle and habits for health and ethical reasons. I'm so happy that my post has inspired you to go vegetarian once a week. For a meat-lover like me, it's actually very simple so I hope it would be for you as well. Always love reading your heartfelt comment! xoxo


I love reading sincere comments and hearing your voice. While blatant self promotion of blogs and follow for follow requests are not advisable, I would love if you leave a mark here with a trackback link so that I could connect with you. I reply to comments here or on your blog so don't forget to check back on replies! =)


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