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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

This is a scheduled post and at this time later, I would most probably be in the cinema watching the film version of one of the greatest English book to be written in history. You've guessed it-- The Great Gatsby. I do hope I would be enthralled by the film.

It feels just like any ordinary day. In the morning later, I would be having a medical appointment and going through some tests. When the nurse fixed the date a week ago, I said "But it's my birthday." She knew and sounded apologetic for that was the only available slot left. I hope I would still enjoy my day later. In case any of you worry for me, please do not be worried. Nothing can get me down. =D

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ghost Followers on Instagram

[Picture credit:]

Well, I'm not too sure if I've used the term "ghost followers" accurately and assuming I have, I'm getting ghost followers on my Instagram. I'm not sure how or why this happened.

After I started posting some older holiday pictures, I've been getting more followers. Today was the ultimate. I had a total of 21 new followers but when I tapped into their profiles, all I see are photos or rather, images of how to get free followers with step by step instructions. Bogus accounts or ghost followers would be what I call these "people".

When I jumped onto the Instagram bandwagon, I came across websites and instagram profiles on how to get free followers by downloading apps or by entering usernames but I did nothing of those. Am I getting "free" followers just because I started tapping into these profiles? I tend to return favour to my "likers" by visiting their pages and liking some of their photos which I really like. I find that there is a pay-it-forward mentality among some of these like-minded users and some ended up as genuine followers. Often, I do tap into bogus accounts. It is funny how these ghost followers could actually "like" photos too coz according to the definition on the web, a ghost follower on instagram is "an anonymous person who follows you but will never like or comment on your pictures".

Some users might wonder why am I griping about this. Isn't it good to have more followers? Yes, it probably is good if one is merely into the physical numbers. However, I would prefer to interact with actual people with souls and feelings. It is great connecting and getting to know other genuine Instagram users in this way and I'm glad that I'm connecting with some of my blogger friends via Instagram as well since it is so much faster and more convenient to update photos on Instagram than write a post on my blog.

Are you on Instagram too?
Do you have ghost followers and what do you feel about them?
Feel free to share your views in the comments section.

This is my Instagram page. If you like my pictures, do follow and drop me a message so that I could check out your page too!


On a side note, I'm suffering from one of the longest tummy pain ever. The pain has been plaguing me from dinner time till now so that makes it about close to 10 hours. It was so painful that I lay in bed and fell asleep since I got home and now I'm wide awake at such an unearthly timing.

Will reply to comments soon!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Solution to Oversleeping

I need this... I really do.

[Pic credit: 9GAG]

Thursday, May 16, 2013

F4 Meet-up Sessions from 2012 till Present

I wonder if the title up there would be misleading. Fortunately we are way ahead of 2001 when the F4 band craze was at its peak.

The gist of how my clique of three ex colleagues (Em, Hs, Wy) from my first job turned very close gal pals became known as F4 goes like this:

Since I started blogging, I made it a point not to address my family and friends and whoever who appears on my blog by their real names due to privacy issues. Even cliques of friends were given names to be used on my blog. I jokingly called this group of gal pals "Fantastic Four" during the heydays of the movie and shortened it to F4 on my blog. Since then, this name stuck to us. Our friendship continued to blossom even after each of us went our separate ways. We became even closer as the years passed with life-changing events in our lives like career, marriage and family.

There are simply too many backdated photos in my folders that in 2013, I decided not to continue the backlog writing but to start blogging about current happenings instead. Yes, there would be lapses in contents here and there but I figured I could choose the events which hold dear to me to be sealed on my blog for the keepsake.

This posts chronicles all the meet-ups and pig-outs with the F4 from 2012 till the most recent meet up last month. Be prepared for a post packed with photos and food porn. Click the x-button if you do not want to wait for the page to load or if you are dying of famine.

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~*Spices Cafe Buffet at Concorde Hotel*~

We met up at Spices Cafe for our very belated 2011 random-gifts-of-the-year gift exchange last February. I call them random gifts as there was a mixture of Christmas gifts and a mish mash of gifts for no reason.

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I would usually commence my buffet with the cold food like slices of sashimi and shucks of oysters.

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And more shucks of oysters if they are very fresh. I usually cannot take too many oysters at one go due to the metallic taste and the compelling need to retch but fresh ones are just so good especially with lemon juice and tobasco sauce.

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These were the hot food available at the buffet counters.

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I forgot what soup this was.

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Some of their specialty dishes could be ordered à la carte so that they would be served freshly prepared. However, each specialty dish is limited to one per pax. Since there were 4 of us, we each ordered 4 different kinds of cooking styles for the crabs to share.

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Slipper lobster aka crayfish

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Hs was trying to pretend that she ate so little.
Wy was figuring out how to eat the crayfish before this shot.

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Em with her hot and cold plates.
Me with my hot and cold plates as well.

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Desserts were all in a mess. Hmm... whose plate was that?

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Healthy fruits with chocolate fondue marshmallow and some unknown pastry.

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HS's sinful but delicious chocolate drizzled fruits.

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From Wy-- cute illustration books from Taiwan. She said the colour pencil style illustration totally reminded her of my drawings.

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From Em-- gourmet treats from UK and USA.

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From Hs-- a mixture of stuff from Japan

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From Jo -- similar key chains for 4 of us.

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Time to open our presents!

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After that, we posed with our loots.

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All the gifts, souvenirs and snacks I received from the gals.

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Souvenirs from Hs's trip. These bookmarks were made from patterned wood sliced paper-thin. How exquisite!

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OMG I tell you, the Simpkins Strawberry and Raspberry Chocolate Centres are to die for! I really love it!

This collage sums up our night.

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Here was what I wore that evening.

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Outfit of the day:
♥ No label translucent kaftan top with inner laced spaghetti top
♥ FleurFaerie Tiered Layer Crochet Shorts
♥ Fleurfaerie Korean Style Pearls and Ribbon Necklace
♥ Prada Tessuto Gaufre in Pomice
♥ Spinel cork shoes

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~*Cafe Biz Buffet at Traders Hotel*~

Some time in May last year, the F4 met in between Em and my birthday for a belated and an advanced birthday celebration for us respectively at Cafe Biz.

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The cold food for my share that night.

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The small amount of hot food I took. If you know me long enough, you would know how much I usually eat. The "bottomless pit" is just one of the nicknames coined by a bestie to describe my insatiable appetite. My appetite wasn't very big that evening as you could see from the dainty morsel of food I took.

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I don't know who took this sashimi platter!

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Passadors would appear at our table to ask if we wanted any meat from their skewers. I forgot what meat this was.

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Giant crab legs

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Hs had an ingenious way of pushing the crab meat out of the shell with a single chopstick.

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This collage depicts 1) how huge the crab legs were and 2) how we finally managed to get the flesh out, intact.

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Cafe Biz has good laksa. I love the rich, creamy and spicy broth as well as the fragrant laksa leaves. However, I could never consider a laksa dish complete without "humps" (aka clams). Hence, this laksa failed my mental laksa test.

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Random not-so-candid shots of us eating.

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Untidy desserts on a plate.

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Much neater.

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I'm beginning to think that our colourful desserts are just for photography purpose.

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It is a tradition for this F4 clique to give one another birthday cards with handwritten notes on them. Since we do not have the time to do prior meet up to write in one another's cards, we usually just pen our love notes on the spot. Em snapped this pic coz this lucky gal had got TWO hand-made cards from us last year and so we had double the writing to do while she slacked after writing in my card.

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I was trying to do the childish "don't see what I'm writing" action when I hid the card in the library book which I borrowed that day.

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I like this random shot of me penning Em's love note. Yes, I know my thighs look fat here, can?

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The story behind why Em had 2 hand-made cards last year was because she WHINED that I drew cards for Hs and Wy the year before but not for her. Hence, I drew her a card that year. At the same time, Hs felt that Em seemed to be always receiving store-bought cards from us instead of hand-made ones so she made a quick one for her. Hs thought hers was too plain and simple but we all, esp Em felt it was a lovely hand-made card. It's all about the thoughts! In this picture, Em was laughing at the cheesy touristy hand-made "envelope" depicting our iconic MBS hotel while Hs showed a disgruntled look.

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Em with two cards, voucher and cash.

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Jo with her card and Watson's gift card of $60,000 (yeah right!) enclosed.

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My hand-drawn card for Em. I modified from a drawing I chanced upon. Not so much the artist after all eh?

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Disclaimer: I'm showing the back of the card here with permission from the gals. I censored some contents though.

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Hs's handmade card for Em.

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Same disclaimer as before.

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My "baby" card. Wy was apologizing that Watson's only had the baby design left and she had no choice but to buy that card. She felt the baby theme was befitting to me anyway. Lol!

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Parting shot of us!

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~*10 at Claymore at Pan Pacific Hotel*~

Hs and Wy's birthday fall on August and we would definitely meet up in the July-August period to celebrate the birthdays of these 2 babes. Presenting the 2 birthday gals.

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And the 2 un-birthday girls.

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10 at Claymore was undergoing a face lift at that time. The restaurant temporarily relocated to another part of the hotel which lacked the classy ambience and the size of the restaurant was reduced by more than half its original size. The last time I dined there with my family, we all felt that it was one of the better buffets around. With the reduction in size, I personally felt that there was a reduction in the quality of the food too.

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The desserts counter looked exactly like those candy shop in the expression "I felt just like a kid in a candy store".

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The ice cold counter.

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Their oyster standard remained the same. Fresh and non-metallic, just how I like them.

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The sashimi and sushi counter was a disappointment.

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Our food spread.

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3 was enough for the night.

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What I took from the cold counter.

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Hot food that we got from the buffet counters.

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Besides the food from the buffet counters, we could also order from the Plates of Pleasures menu.

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The various meat dishes from the menu.

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Succulent lobster.

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A healthier version.

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Desserts time!

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There did not seem to be any SOP for the macarons with the vast difference in sizes.

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Sweet berries crepe.

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After dinner, the August babies were presented with their gift vouchers and cards.

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Wy with her requested shopping vouchers and "peanut" card. It is not a peanut ok? I was inspired by some cute alien slots game back then.

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Hs with her specially requested gift and "green card". Ok bad joke. She was relocating together with her hubby for work but not to America. And her specially requested gift was cash as it was the most practical for her situation (of leaving Singapore) then.

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Em said we had to snap Hs's gift close up for people to spot. It was so well-hidden, I didn't even notice. I thought the cash was in the Winnie the Pooh packet.

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Wy smiling at our love note.

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Likewise for Hs.

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Disclaimer: I had permission from the gals to show the contents.

Besides meeting up to celebrate the August babies' birthday, it was sort of a farewell dinner for Hs too. It would be our last meet up with Hs as she would be flying off in two week's time then. All of us were more excited for her than she was for herself. I guess there were really too much logistics to handle and plans to make. Touring Europe during the holidays would so totally make the stay worth-while.

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Another highlight for that evening would be that all of us had secured jobs that were in a totally different sectors from where we came from previously. During the last meeting, we were talking about switching careers. Then all of a sudden during this meet up, we had all been selected for what we had applied for and starting on our new job almost during the same period. Was that a coincidence or telepathy of close gal pals with planets aligned to our stars?

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A parting shot through the mirror as we could not find a place without renovation works in the background.

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And then we found the stairs that led to the basement. The person who was helping us to snap the picture was no photographer at all. The first shot was blur with people in the background and she went "ok!" We politely requested for a retake when there wasn't anyone in the background. The second time she went "ok!", she actually snapped at the moment when Wy, Hs and I unanimously turned to look at the people walking up the stairs.

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Finally after 3 takes, we had a more decent parting shot of us!

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Here was what I wore that evening. Picture from FleurFaerie.

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Outfit of the day:
♥ FleurFaerie Embellished Mesh Tank Top
♥ Cotton On black inner spaghetti strap top
♥ Denim shorts
♥ Fleurfaerie Bandage Leggings in Black
♥ No label black boots from Bangkok
♥ Agnes B lock and key necklace

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~*Prego Restaurant and Deli at Swissotel*~

The meet up at Prego last August was a farewell for Hs. Hs's hubby was (has) posted to Switzerland for work and so Hs had to move along with him. What an exctiting life for her! As I'm typing this in May 2013, she is expecting a baby boy. So happy for her but so sad that she wasn't able to fly home together with her hubby earlier in March this year.

That was the first time Hs had a ribbon hairband on and she looked so sweet with it.

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Yummy breadstick.

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I loved how it looked like a western marketplace.

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This gave me a market-by-the-street feel.

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Finally found an empty section to snap a picture of the decor.

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Dinner set menu for that evening.

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We started off the meal with bagel. I usually do not like bagel as it is too hard.

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Interesting presentation of sauce.

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Soup of the day.

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The salad looked more like cow's food than how it sounded on the menu.

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All of us ordered the fish mains instead of the beef. My fish was fine but I forgot was it Hs or Wy who had a half-cooked fish. It was disgusting. Upon giving the waitress our feedback, she apologized and gave us free desserts that was out of the set dinner menu.

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The eggplant pasta was good.

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Caramelized Granny Tart with Apple Cake, Cinnamon Gelato was the only dessert offered in the set dinner.

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If you look closely not only were the presentations different, the one above was strawberry and the one below was raspberry.

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Complimentary dessert #1.

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Complimentary dessert #2. We had sugar crush... I mean sugar rush that evening.

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Funny moments.

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The let's-get-serious-and-pose-for-candid-shots time.

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Hs gave us each a keepsake before she flew off. It was a picture of her wedding day with us as bridesmaids which is also our current Watsapp group chat profile picture. Check out the words she wrote on the flap. She was so LAME and could even think of different sentences for each of us! Fast forward to May 2013, she could not even remember her lame work.

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So this was what we got when we lifted the flap. Pretty lame but creative. It really got all of us cracking.

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Parting shot through the mirror. It was really difficult to find one where all of us looked fine.

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~*Bye Bye Hs*~

Last shot with Hs at Changi Airport.

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Miss you so much!

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~*Em and Jo's Birthday dinner 2013 at Antoinette*~

Yay! I've finally reached 2013 updates. In April, the F4 minus 1 met up for Em and my birthday dinner at Antoinette, Mandarin Gallery.

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We could sip tea in this like the atas French ladies.

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The April and May babies.

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Hs if you are reading this, just visualize that you were there with us.

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All the descriptions sounded so yummy that we did not know what to order.

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When in doubt, always order Aglio Olio. That could never go wrong.

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After we apportioned out, we felt like we were dining the French way (with the small plate and small portions). Delicious delicious delicious!

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Traditional French Style Pork Belly Confit. I really love this! I usually hate eating fats but the fats in this dish melts in my mouth with a delightful savoury aftertaste.

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Nordic Crepe which unveiled smoked salmon, red onion, capers and dill cream cheese.

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Nordic crepe unwrapped.

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Em and I started writing on each other's cards while waiting for our desserts.

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Pavlova which comprises passionfruit banana sorbet with French meringue, almond crumble and dark chocolate.

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We forgot to snap an individual shot of Lámour in the background. Rose petal ice cream with raspberry swirl, rose meringue and lychee pieces sounds so romatic.

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Poor Wy. Without Hs around to spread out the effort, Wy had to settle both our cards and gifts. 辛苦你了! *hugz*

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Em and I posed nonstop with the desserts as if they were our birthday cakes. What you did not see behind the scenes were how we soon got tired of the sweetness of meringue. Also, what you did not see were our half finished desserts for the air-conditioning was so cold that if we finished the ice cream we would turn frosty.

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Birthday babies with our gifts and hand-made cards. The Chloe Eau de Parfum smelled so comforting, like something from our childhood yet all of us could not put a finger to what it smelled like. The round thing that Em was holding was a souvenir from Wy. I had one too but I forgot to pose with it. Guess what it is? It is a pouch with mini compartments for watch, rings, necklace and the likes which is good for times like facial, spa, gym etc when we have to remove all these and keep them all safely and tidily.

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Hs, we definitely felt your love and presence with all your goodies from Switzerland! Do you know how heavy these are? I had to collect them from your home, bring them to work then bring them to meet the girls. I really FELT your presence. =P lol

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I wish I could fast forward the time to Hs's return such that we would be reunited and this time with the addition of a baby boy!


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