Rainbow!

Spotted a low rainbow during a sudden afternoon rain

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The Face experiment

Before everyone thinks that I am the fish that blogs only about food, I am going to blog about skin care! Recently I had spurt on some skin care products, when all I needed was a new bottle of toner.

Well, I would lie, the fishies aren’t getting any younger so over the years we have been getting into something I call face maintenance. I have bought many products over the years, mostly drug store brands, sometimes from korean based beauty shops, and occasionally from Biotherm. However, despite what the products claim to do, I can never see a difference on myself (I am kinda clueless that way), as long as I don’t get dry patches or have sudden breakouts, I usually will keep the using the product until I feel like changing.

 facestuff

Anyway that was the damage that was done that day (hey at least I got my toner).

Items to note would be:

1. Khiels Herbal extract toner

2. Khiels Midnight recovery eye cream: to repair, and moisture the eye area

3. Burt’s Bee Daisy White Extract serum: to even skin tone

4. Burt’s Bee Naturally Ageless Pomegranate Day Lotion: to eraser wrinkles, and combat aging with antioxidant from pomegranate

So I would be using them daily and I would try to take a photo of my face once a week to see if there is any difference. What I hope most is that the 2 dark patches/pigmentation on my cheeks will lighten up, and overall my skin will look healthier.

It is important to note that I do use a sunblock with spf 50 PA+++ as well in the day. However as Singapore is a sunny location, I don’t always have the chance to reapply my sunblock every few hours with I am outfield for work.

I also use another eye serum that I bought from a local store (skin pharmacy) for eye bags, and eye rings that I use during the day.

As I am very lazy, I kinda forgot to take the photo on the week I start. The photo below was taken mid-week.  (ugly photo of myself below) Continue reading

Okada Coffee in Singapore

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Last weekend found the four fishies at Okada Coffee, another Japan exported eatery.

As the name suggest it is a cafe, that offers main meals. However the fishies were there to sample their Hi-Tea set.

The set startes off with scones.
Not the best scones I have eaten (Twinning in Bangkok still tops), however still better than other more expensive establishments we had been before. It came warm and fluffy on the inside, however the outside was a little too hard, causing a mess when we tried to cut it. My biggest complain would be that they did not serve it with cream, just jam, which was a disappointment for this fishies. Overall the buttery taste made it a pleasant start.

The bottom layer of the tiered tray contained sandwich, beef meatball/pork katsu, butter cookie sandwich, coffee muffin and the top layer had Chocolate raspberry cake, some raspberry tart and a matcha cake.

Food wise, I don’t think this place had left an impression. The sandwich was normal, but I never undertook the need to put cream into sandwiches. It was the first thing I ate, so it was probably saved from the fate of being soggy. The meatballs were ok, I am saying this because I am bias as I am not the biggest fan of hamburg meatball, but it wasn’t dry and the sauce was pretty tasty, but not overpowering giving a balanced taste. I did not try the katsu version, as it was for my non-beef eating fishies, perhaps they would like to leave a comment about it.

I loved the cookie though, despite the fact that there as a layer of cream sandwiched between  the 2 pieces. But…it is butter cookie!! What is not to love about butter cookie!! To add on, the cream was pretty lite, and does not feel heavy and there was a sprinkling of walnuts inside adding to the fragrance.

I would say that the coffee muffin was the winner of the bottom layer. I think the sweetness is just right, with the accompanying aroma of coffee. The size was a winning factor as well, too big and it would have been too much. I scraped off most of the cream though spreading a thin layer at each bite (it lasted for 3 bites anyway), it was refreshing, I suppose it was suppose to be like milk coffee?

The Top Tier:

The chocolate raspberry dense cake…thing…was too sweet for my liking. I managed to finish half of it because of the raspberry jam filling it has. The sourish jam cancelled the sweetness, making it bearable for me to eat. once my cake had no more raspberry, I stop eating. It was unfortunate that our dear Fishuui did not have raspberry jam in her cake, which may have been a mistake by the kitchen.

No comments on the raspberry tart thing…it was just that unmemorable (or actually not worth mentioning)

The mini Matcha Cake square was the favourite of the fishies! It was light and fluffy, with the hint of green tea that make a good cake memorable. Could have easily eaten a whole slice. The lack of azuki (red beans) make the cake less dense, and light on the palate.

I would say that the tea is disappointing though. It was really bland, like too much water for one teabag? even though was let the teabag seep in the pot, it never got stronger.

The coffee, which one of us drink, was described as aromatic, but light. Typical of japanese food, I took a sip, it was good, and did not have any linger sour taste, but it was light.

Overall, this place did not impress. Although we may be tempted to come back and try the mains. But I think with a bit of money you can be presuaded to have hi-tea somewhere else.

 

Okie…stay tune for more Fishies eating adventures!

Food Review: Tsukada Nojo (塚田農場)

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Lately one of the malls in Singapore had an expansion, with it came new eataries hailing from the region. Notably(at least to me) was Nana’s Green Tea and Tsukada Nojo. I will describe our adventures at Nana’s in another post but yesterday the fishes went to Tsukada Nojo to try their fabled Bijin Nabe (美人鍋) that is filled with collagen!

Beside having only 1 branch in Singapore the venue had limited sitting as well, resulting in Long queues everyday. Nonetheless this fishie went and joined the queue ard 4.30pm for thr dinner service at 5.00pm.

So we a bijin nabe that served 4, 3 Nikumaki Oinigiri (riceballs wrapped with meat), 2 siew mai and an assortment of drinks.

The selling point of this place was their chicken broth base which was made by cooking chicken and bones from Miyazaki until it disintergrate, forming a thick base. It is then cooled into pudding (shown in photo above), when applies to heat it starts melt back into soup form. then veggies are added to form our dinner for the night!

The soup was good! the flavour of the chicken was there without overpowering feel of oiliness that you sometimes get with chicken soup. This is the soup you would be craving for when you are sick. The veggies made the soup sweeter, rounding out the meaty taste of it. After the veggies were done, we added the Mochi Mochi noodles into the soup, with the prawns! The prawns were fresh, and the noodles had a nice chewy texture that went well with the soup. But by then the fishies were all too full to completely enjoy it.

All in all it was a good trip with a moderate bill (hotpot is at $25/pax), would queue up for it another day but not that soon.

Vanilla バニラ

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Lunch set + dessert at vanilla gastro bar & cafe at Recency House.

It is a day that I finally brace myself to go try out the food at this little shop that is all plain white and decorate like a cosy house with fine wines.

I have their lunch set that was priced at $10.90 that comes with a drink. (choice of soft drink, tea or coffee). Despite being a small shop, the lunch set selection is pretty decent and I have a hard time choosing and decided that I will have smoked salmon with tomato and basil pasta.

First to come is my cup of tea that was serve in a sweet tea cup. It was out of my expectations to see it served in a nice flowery teacup as I have expected that the tea comes in a plain white tea cup to match the atmosphere of the store. A normal cup of twinnings tea bagged earl grey in such pretty cup brighten up my day for the food.

The pasta came and it was served in a claypot. I was pretty amused with the use of claypot as to me, claypots are just for Chinese food. The presentation of the food added marks to the taste of it. To my surprise, the pasta is spicy. For the 1st mouth, I can’t really say I will like the dish, but after a few mouthful of it, the taste grew in me. The spice level is comforting and it did not steal the limelight of the smoked salmon and tomato taste. What was lacking was that the basil taste was sadly covered by the chilli padi spice. Besides just plain salmon, real chopped bacon bits are added in. Overall, it is a nice fusion combination. And added points is that the food is served piping hot!

With such nice tea cup, I couldn’t resist but to order a dessert too. I ordered a vanilla dirt cake ($8.90) that comes in a flower pot with gummy worms. It is rather cute. The taste was pretty light. It is vanilla creme with chocolate cookie crumbs. The crumbs acts as soil for the presentation of the dessert. And hence it has a name as dirt cake. The downside of the dessert was some parts of the cake is still in semi frozen state. It is a dessert that you have to take time to eat it off slowly seeping up a cup of tea or coffee.

Overall, the place is decent for chill out.

PS: They have a wide selection of wines too

The push and pull factor of a job

Opps…Totally neglecting the blog, and I return with a slightly more serious post. I will try to post some crack movie reviews soon…(hopefully I can still remember enough details to write something entertaining)

On to the actual post…

I think I have been complaining about my work-life crisis for the past 1 week already, although I have never said it out in details what had brought on this crisis to warrant me considering of switching job.

I work as a Research Coordinator, although I tend to think that it is just a gloried work title, because I feel that the scope of my work feels more like a Research Assistant, but they gave me a nicer title because I had the qualifications to have a nicer title.

When I first began as a RC, I was lucky that the PI for the project did not mind that I had no experience, she just needed another pair of hands to help in the gather of data of the project. I work mostly independently, PI tells me what she wants, and sometimes we discuss how we should go about getting the information, then I do the task that is set out.

Pretty straightforward. 2.5years down the road the project finished, and I was faced with the prospect of being jobless, when I was offered an extension. The original project I was working on has more funding now and will be expending, so they will still be needing a RC to help in the research and evaluation part of the work. So basically I was working with the same ppl, but now I am reporting to someone new because my PI was only doing the research/evaluation for the pilot run.

Sadly with this new project somehow I have lost the original element of doing research. somehow nearly one year into the new project, we still did not have a research question. For a good part of the last year, I was basically sitting around doing nothing, accept rendering help (of non-research related variety) to my colleagues and help fill in the void when our Admin Exec left and her replacement was only coming in one month later.

seems that towards the end of last year my supervisor (i know have a supervisor and a boss, in the past I had 2 bosses (my PI and Co-PI)) kinda suddenly remember or realise that we would be missing a lot of data if we did not start any evaluation related things soon. Which lead me into a “mad scramble” of getting data. However since the ground works for this evaluation and research is not set (I think they totally forgot about it) getting data from related party has became an uphill task.

While juggling with getting new data, I had to make sense of the old data that has already been collected, and somethings there are HOLES that need to be filled by asking our partners or I have to dig to retrospectively for it, which is really a waste of time because half of the time they do not know whether they need the data in the end.

Then comes the fact that because now I am asking for data, my other colleagues had voiced out that it may be taxing for our partners to be giving me extra data among the other data they had to be providing in the first place. BUT in the end when it comes to presenting data and there are HOLES in my data and I get questioned because of it. It becomes one of those “I TOLD YOU SO” situation that I really felt like rubbing it in their face.

And then there is the data churning. The data is there, you tell me what you want and I churn it out. In no way I was trained to make a spin on things. IF you want an angle TELL ME THE ANGLE so I can work something out. The data can be seen in a lot of ways, but I will show you the most straightforward and most of the time not the most positively way because I was trained to just report the stuff as it is.

Hello?! research writing is about report your data as it is and discussing the implication and how can it be improved. Reporting data to funder and putting it in a layman’s term and putting it in a positive light is totally not my job.

To be honest, I always look at the worse result and try to improve on that..which probably will not fly with fund-ers.

And Also I do not know whether you value me for my data churning skills or my field testing skill because I can only do 1 at a time because one is office bound and the other is outfield. So everytime you ask for data remember that I cannot get new data for you!!

Sorry people that are reading, I am just whining and ranting because I am getting bored of this. I thought I was going to try new stuff, but instead i am stuck with the same old things, and new responsibility that I honestly think can be taken up by someone else if you want me to be collecting data. Just because I have a ‘RESEARCH’ in my job title doesn’t mean I need to get saddled with all sort of statistic updated that the admin stuff can easily do.

so Yes. No research end goal in mind (which it think is more than half of my work motivation , half of the time not knowing what I am doing, so this pretty much sums up my work-life crisis at the moment.

Reason to not quit is because I don’t want to leave the project uncompleted.

Bellabox

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I signed up for bellabox to give it a try.

Bellabox basically sends you a a box of “samples” for you to try for a month. They have various brands like Anna Sui, benefit, Candydoll and even Kiehl’s! January’s box isn’t very exciting though I did find a gem or two! 🙂 And the box that came is pretty too. hahaha

Two things that saved my beauty for Japan’s Winter

As the other three fishes know I had a long trip (actually only three weeks) trip to Japan during their winter. And the cold, dry air did not help with the tropical girl me. The first two days my nose couldn’t stop sneezing and running. In fact I finished about one tissue box within those two days. The consequence of that action was – my nose peeled like crap. It was sore, flakey and I was crying. I mean I was in Japan! Who doesn’t want to look pretty in Japan (even though I was in Osaka…). So this came to my rescue.

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Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate! I’ve been using this for about … 1.5 years? Maybe? I can’t remember but I do love it though the effect was not as obvious as it was in Japan. The dry winter in Japan caused my skin to be really crusty dry for about 70% of the day. But because of that, every time I applied this, it gets absorbed immediately and it was super effective! To combat the cold, I applied a layer of my moisturizer after that. Back to my nose. I don’t know what made me think of it, but I decided to drop one drop on my nose and massaged it in. (Usually two to three drops is enough for the whole face.) And I did this for the next two to three nights. Lo and behold, my nose was as good as new. O___O I was so amazed and I swear by this since then.

The second item was this. ダリヤつばきオイル配合のヘア美容液 (Dariya Tsubaki Oil Infused Treatment Serum). Tsubaki or Camellia oil is actually used since the Heian period in Japan and they do smell nice! Dariya Tsubaki Oil infused hair products are a mix of Red and White camelias. 

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Back to the serum. The constant cold winds (and not to mention I washed my hair only every other day), my hair was constantly tangled. I was crying from all the tugging and loss of hair. So one day I couldn’t take it and went to one of their pharmacies (they sell more cosmetic stuff than medicine) and contemplated really long before buying this. I was skeptical at first. But after applying it to my towel dried hair I realised, my fingers just went through my hair with ease! Even with a comb I had ZERO problem at all. I am SO amazed and regretted not buying more of their Tsubaki hair range in Japan. But next time I will!

 

Nana’s Green Tea

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Gotten in love with this Japanese franchise outlet for their matcha. Always wanted to try hot ones but end up ordering cold versions instead.

Food is good as for now. I like the maguro don I have ordered. Decent pieces of maguro slices that match every mouthful of rice in nice proportions. The black sesame soy sauce is a blast of taste to ricebowl. (p.s. the don is good even without the sauce)

Ordered shiratama float matcha, a matcha latte topped with a scoop of matcha ice-cream and shiratama, rice balls. Not bad. Just the ice cream was a bit tad sweet for me. Loved the rice balls but somehow the taste was more like our tang yuan.

Well, very fulfilling food for comforting myself moodiness.

Hmm.. Restless

Just being restless and come over to this blog. Hahahaha… Nothing much here. ._. 

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