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.
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.
~*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!
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.