The happiest day of my life…

is not when I fell in love.. or graduated… or got married… BUT it’s when I broke my bond. The feeling of joy and freedom is something which words cannot describe! 🙂 I was and still am happy! The money that I needed to pay is a BIG amount but it’s lesser than what I had anticipated. The rumors or whatever additional interest is NON-EXISTENT!

If you have been following my blog or if you are my friend, you may be aware of my situation. As my no pay leave came to an end, I was very afraid and emotional. I didn’t want to leave my hubby.. either do I want to leave what I have here. BH had always been very supportive.. ever since Day 1 of my ‘suffering’ he already knew that he would want to ‘rescue’ me from my agony. I’m blessed.

After years of saving and mental torture, I made the decision to resign. The process was smooth. I went back to SG, got a cashier’s order and the bond was resolved. “Money solves all problem” my sister likes to say. How true!

My parents were quite upset and disappointed. They compared me to other people who are still in their jobs. You know, the difference between those people and me? They got their spouse with them. Yes, I admit that I am very needy and dependent – there’s NOT a tiny bit of being a ‘career woman’ in me. I’m just the kind of woman who likes to do housewifey stuff.  Is that wrong? Then again, I really don’t mind serving my bond if BH have the intention to go back. The problem is he doesn’t – at least not for now 🙁

The good thing is.. my friends in the US commented that I look more radiant and happy when I returned this time round .. it’s amazing! how a bond can make such a difference in my life!

What’s the plan now? Don’t ask me about kids.. we are not prepared yet. We are staying in a 1-bedroom rental and having kids would mean we need a bigger space. Bigger space means more expensive rental. Expensive rental does not make sense because the amount of money for rental is enough for monthly mortgage of a big house! Sigh.. and we can’t get a house yet because of our HDB. BH and I are hoping to get a dog first.. As for kids, not now.. maybe 4 years later 🙂

Now… let’s enjoy!! There’s no reason to be upset anymore! yay!!

Thank you God! Thank you BH for giving me every damn thing I wanted, regardless of size, price, length and whatever you can think of! The best 4th 6eptember ever!

How to buy Happycall pans on Gmarket Korea? (Part 1)

*These are solely my opinions. Do give me credit if my guide helped you OR share your thoughts in my comment box. Tanks everybody Tanks!! 😀 *

Who should read this?
1) Asian living in USA who wants to get a Happycall pan
2) Singaporeans who want to buy a Happycall pan
3) Anyone who want to buy a Happycall pan

Ok, fine. Basically… everyone!

Have you caught the Happycall pans (HCP) craze yet? I know.. it is so popular now and I see a lot of people talking about it on Facebook and on various cooking blogs!

I thought it was just a so-so pan BUT J (my Singaporean bachelor friend living in Seattle) is talking about it! haha.. he was boosting about how he cooked delicious medium rare steak.. the kind of steak which is cooked to perfection and not ‘hard like rock’ heh.. I giggled in disbelief… Still, I wanted to try out the pan for myself. I was also hoping that BH will cook more (for me, or when I’m not around) if we get the pan

Living in a US apartment, most of our stove is ‘electrical coil’ (electrical coil is NOT induction) I was worried that even if I buy the pan, it may not work. However, since Julius could cook steak in his HCP on the electrical coil stove, the pan should work! I also emailed a food blogger, H L, just to confirm and she assured me that it works! Yay! So now.. where should I buy?

Amazon and Ebay are selling these pans BUT they are quite expensive compared to my favorite and trusty website, Gmarket! I know there are many versions of Gmarket now BUT I am talking about Gmarket Korea (English site)

Personally, I feel that the prices of HCP on Gmarket Singapore are not as cheap as I could get it from Gmarket Korea directly. The last time I checked , merchants on Gmarket Singapore are giving freebies with the pan (for slightly higher price) – I didn’t go for those as freebies are not important to me. I just want to buy the pan cheap! In the end, I choose Gmarket Korea (English site) Nothing beats buying HCP direct from Korea

I do not read/speak the Korean language. I depend on Google translate to help me with my shopping on Gmarket Korea. On Gmarket Korea , though it is a English site, most of the words are still in Korean language. IF you can’t read Korean, Google translate is your best friend.

Another thing, DO NOT use your mobile phone to load/shop Gmarket. Gmarket is picture intensive. Sometimes pictures may not load or takes too long to load. To have a better shopping experience, use a computer preferably with IE browser – Firefox works fine too!

I apologise for my bad sizing of images. Please click on image to see clearly 🙂

Step-by-step guide
1) Go ahead and open a new window for our best friend Google translate

2) In another new window, go to http://english.gmarket.co.kr/ To search for the pans, type ‘Happycall’ in the search box

3) There you go! The results! Choose the merchants which offers ‘worldwide shipping’ + good rating. Usually, I buy from the ‘Power’ seller

4) Click on the link and it will bring you to the store. The price indicated on the store is the base price
Different type of pans will have different top-up/option price. Another thing to note is the picture may only show 1 type of pan but do scroll down, the store have other pans to offer

5) Look at the images below to be familiar with the store details

6) Ready? The pans! Option 1 shows the different pans (scroll down to see pictures of the pans). For your convenience, I listed down the pans with its Korean name below (Warning: Please DO NOT fault me IF I indicated the pan images and names wrongly. Double check on your part and let me know if I made a mistake)


Items are listed from 1st item on the drop box to the last

(i)

(ii)

(iii)

(iv)

(v)

(vi)

7) Option 2 – To select if you want the pan to be individually wrapped(Top up of 900 won). I choose to have the pans wrapped individually as I ordered 3

8 ) Select add on (optional)

9) Click add to cart and check out!

10) Before paying, click on ‘Coupon Box’ to make sure that the best discount coupon had been applied. Discounts are allocated by member’s level OR if you won lucky draw for coupons. Double check that the items purchased is correct.

I actually ship my items to Singapore since the pans are meant for my mum, my mother in law and me. Since there was a promotion for shipping fee to Asia, the shipping cost to Singapore is much cheaper than shipping to US. I can only collect my HCP when I’m back

11) I checked out and select ‘Foreign Credit card’. Enter your credit card details and you are set!

12) To view order, go to ‘My Gmarket and click on ‘Overseas order’ > ‘View all’. Your order no. and details should be there! Confirmation email may take up to 15mins to reach your inbox

Warning: Since I am residing in the US and shipping to Singapore, my credit cards were declined. Sigh! I guess it’s our US credit card’s way of detecting faud – cancelling the transaction. Anyhow, I tried 2X with different cards and orders didn’t go through. In the end, I got my sister to pay with her Singapore credit card and it went through flawlessly

Tip: For Singapore Credit cards, you just need to enter the OTP sent to your phone and the order will go through. For US credit cards, do call and inform the credit card company BEFORE you make a purchase from Gmarket, so that the order will go through.

Hope this helps! Happy Gmarketing!

Read Part 2 – Pans reached Singapore! 😀

Back!

I’m back from our Europe trip! 😀 It had been a wonderful adventure and we are thinking of the NEXT trip!

It’s nice when strangers think that we are on our Honeymoon.. I kinda like that misunderstanding.. hahaha… we must be doing something ‘right’! Then again, my wedding band became loose and it slipped out of my finger on the 1st day! *gasps* It rolled and rolled BUT i stopped it in time… so scary!!!

Anyhow, just got to blog about this really small gesture which touched me 🙂 BH bought some chocolates for his colleagues ( we didn’t buy any for ourselves). I filled it up in a container and he brought it to work. Bh brought the container home last night with just a few chocolates left… OMG! He actually kept aside some for me to try before it all finished!!! I was soooo happy and touched ( I didn’t even remind him can!) I mean… it’s something small but I’m just so glad he did it… haha.. it made me happy that I was remembered… I dunno y.. it’s just chocolates but it made me feel so loved!

I was like “wah… you is love me one lor… you brought back some chocolates for me to try…” BH replied (while playing with his damn phone) ” I really love you one lor… ”

yeah right!!! but i’m happy 🙂

Shall blog about my trip once I settled the pics!

a passing cloud

Today.. I went crazy with my thoughts

I always thought I was decisive.. but my thoughts were in a mess today 🙁 I am so scared, worried and I didn’t know what to do

At that precise moment, BH came home.. maybe because BH is calm and quiet most of the time… He have that natural ability to make me feel better. I seriously can’t imagine days/weeks/months/years without him – hope he feels the same about me too

P/S: Skype beta app is out!! Installed it on my windows phone! I am just one phone call away from home (and Bambi)

Toulouse Petit

On the 2nd day of 2012, Bing and I ventured to our old home area ( Queen Anne) to have brunch at the much rave Toulouse Petit

It’s amazing that this place is so near our old apartment BUT we have nv tried it before. We didn’t make any reservations so we needed to wait for a table.

First impression of the place – The restaurant have really nice deco. It was really unique with interesting lamps, resembling Venus Fly Trap. haha.. we took photos outside

Fortunately, it was only a 10mins wait. Anyway, just for in case you wanna try.. it’s better to go for breakfast happy hours Mon-fri 8-11am as most of the breakfast plates were $8!

We settle down on our table which isn’t that comfy because there’s no place to hang our coats ( and the server didn’t ask if they could keep coats for us) – we just have to make do. The menu is extensive! so many types of food to choose from! I was gonna order something sweet.. I LOVE sweet things.. and I ordered the Bananas Foster pancakes and BH ordered something that have fish ( can’t rem what – but it’s a small serving, expensive for its size)

The french press coffee came first.. it’s sooooo good… now i’m wondering if I shld buy a french press!! heh.. so while enjoying the coffee.. I was admiring the nice lamps again.. hahaha

Actually our food took sometime to come… either that or.. I was super hungry… Finally….

My pancakes were delicious!! OMG.. I love the candied peacans.. so nice!!! fluffy pancakes – 2 thumbs up!!! As for BH’s food… it was ok?! hehe… The pt is… I love my pancakes!! Yummy!! But lucky BH, the portion is too big for me.. he had the pancakes too!

last but not least… a pic of me with the delicious pancakes!! wahaha… more pls!!

X’mas Bake off 2011 ( Chocolate-dipped shortbread + Steamed Chocolate fudge cake)

Outdated entry BUT still… I will blog about it .. haha

It’s kinda like our tradition that we have a bake-off on Christmas… haha.. I like it.. and we actually look forward to it every year 🙂 This year.. we made Chocolate dipped shortbread. We were at Dave and Jo’s place when they let us sample their neighbour’s cookies.. OMG.. it tasted so good!!! we decided to look for the recipe and try to bake something like that too! We were happy that it turned out very well – tasted like Danish cookies! haha.. and we gave them to our friends who loved them too!

Chocolate dipped Shortbread recipe

(From Food Network)

Ingredients
3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped ( We used Hershey’s special dark chocolate bar)

Method
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.

What’s Christmas w/o cake? haha.. so I attempted to try another new recipe!

For my cake, I used a 6″ round pan and used my big soup pot as the steamer. During steaming, my cake rose and the top of the cake was on the cover of the pot. I was very upset because that would mean that my cake won’t look nice/ might turn out underbaked. I allowed it to steam 10mins more that the desired time – that seem to do the trick. Cake looks very ugly though 🙁 Fortunately, I managed to slice the ugly top off.. and it looks flat and nice!!In future, I will definitely divide the batter into two 6″ pans.

For the fudge, it took forever to thicken so I added more cornflour and up the heat. Bad idea… fudge thickened too fast and became lumpy. sigh… it was not thick enough to be spread onto the cake. BH was like “let’s just pour on it?!! It will look nice la! Fudge mah!” I was just too upset that it’s not perfect – so I was “whatever lor.. anyway, it’s doomed already” and… tadah….

Topped it with walnuts and it looks so pro!!! The taste… was like heavenly!!! Chocolate overload!! 🙂 Because the fudge was lumpy, we shld have pour the fudge over a sieve before putting it on the cake. Anyway, the cake was so good that we couldn’t taste the lumps! 😀

Steamed Chocolate Cake with Fudge Recipe

(from Peng’s Kitchen)

For Cake:

Ingredient

150g unsalted butter
170g fine sugar
200ml evaporated milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g plain flour
70g cocoa powder (I used Trader Joe’s, a local house brand)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Method

1) Combine sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla essence and butter in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter has melted. Remove from heat.

2) Add the beaten eggs into the slightly cooled mixture and stir till well mixed. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs mixture over the flour and stir till smooth. (Batter should be runny).

3) Heat up the steamer. Lined and grease a 7″ baking pan. ( I used 6″ round pan) Pour the batter into prepared pan and place into the steamer. Cover the top of the pan loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.

4) Steam over medium heat for 45 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a skewer into the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, steam for a further 5 minutes.

5) Cool the cake in pan before turning out for frosting.

For chocolate fudge

Ingredients

35g cocoa powder, sifted
50gm corn flour, sifted
1 cup evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
175ml water
120g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g unsalted butter

Method

1) Mix all ingredients well (except the butter. stir over double boiler at low heat till thickened. (takes abt 10mins to thicken)
2) Add butter, turn off fire and stir till the butter melts.
3) Spread the warm fudge over the cake to coat evenly.
4) Chill the cake in the fridge before serving.

 

2012 .. IT’S HERE!

life is really and indeed not a bed of roses

2011 had been a year filled with ups and downs ( once again) You know.. . When all is well, something may just pop up.. I guess that’s when we learn.. and how we grow stronger.

2011 is the year I lost someone really dear to me, my grandpa. Just the thought of it makes me tear – he passed away on the very day I left SG. I know he is probably enjoying himself in a better place now – still… it upsets me that I’m not there 🙁

2011 is also a year that we finally got our HDB. If there is a reason why I am saving money/working hard.. it’s because of my home. I always thought and wanted my home to be perfect. Nice furniture and renovation. I was quite upset that all these things had to be compromised – for the greater good. I really hope that I will be able to achieve my dream home in the near future

2011 marks the year that we made the MOST friends ever since we first relocated here. haha.. we had been really contented with just the 2 of us that making more friends isn’t part of the plan. Then again, by a stroke of luck, we participated in a SG gathering ( our first in 3 yrs btw) and we met friends who intro us to even more friends. It’s nice to have friends to hang out and to share our food with 🙂

2011 also made me a good cook. I think I really enjoy cooking. I can look for recipes and get really excited to cook something new! I am embarrassed to admit it but cooking is fun! heh.. I do wish that what I like to do is something that would mk me rich in terms of wealth, rather than .. erm.. FATS?

2011 is also the year that I got my first CHANEL BAG! 🙂 I must thank you BH for his generosity! I feel very blessed to have a great hubby who is willing to spend $ on me.. haha..
Chanel WOC

2011 marks the first time I visited a doc here!! It is a bad year for me in terms of health. sigh… I went to the doc countless of times. Health is wealth! I also extracted 2 of my wisdom tooth ( the other 2 will be extracted this year)

——–
I am looking forward to 2012!! I’m also scared… but….

I can’t wait to be FREE ( out of my bond)!! I was telling BH that on the day I get my FREEDOM, I will….. BAKE A CHEESECAKE! Yes… life is just so plain simple and sweet. Trust me.. it’s not the money! The road to freedom may not be ez… 🙁 I may or may not succeed.

I also wish for GOOD HEALTH… Health is very important!!!

I hope that we could get a dog we both like too – it will be perfect if it’s a rescue 🙂 It’s nice to have something we both love and can come home too ( nah.. not a human baby!!)

Another wish is to travel MORE! I realised that we haven’t been traveling much because we are saving $. I hope 2012 will be a better year for us financially??!! haha… I know it’s weird… we will probably be quite broke..but at least the money we earned is for our enjoyment and not to save up for other purpose!!oh… I also can’t wait for our Europe trip in April!!! OMG!!! Trip of a lifetime!! I also want to go to Disneyworld during Christmas!!!

and.. come April 2012 will also mean that BH and I had been together for *drumroll* 10 years!!! 😀 can’t believe it right!! heh.. I hope we will have many many more years together!

erm.. I think that’s all I can think of for now.. haha … HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!! and… Do take care and be happy! There’s nothing more important than being happy 🙂

fond memories of you

I’m back in the states now after a 2.5 mths of holiday in Singapore.

I left Singapore with a heavy heart. I didn’t tell anyone about this BUT I was thinking of extending my stay 2 days before my departure date. I called the airlines and was told that it’s US$100 for date change. To me, the money is a small amount to see you for the last time. However, my mum and BH told me that I don’t have to do so. Then I thought to myself, maybe it’s better that I left this way. I went to the home and took 1 last look at you – it hurts so bad, you were literally on life support with needles poking over you, the tubes were the only thing that was keeping you alive. I am helpless, you get weaker each time I visit you. I prayed to all the Gods I know to take you away peacefully, removing your pain. I was prepared but the thought of not seeing you again mks me very sad.

Shortly after I touched down in Seattle, my sis emailed me that ‘Khong Khong went to join Po Po already’ It’s no surprise 🙁 I think they will be happier together

Bye Bye Khong Khong.. Thank you for sending me to and fro school regardless of the weather.. Thank you for bringing me to the doctor when I’m sick.. Thank you for buying me the things my parents will never get me.. The BEST part of my childhood memories are with you and Po Po. I hope that you have met Po Po and is enjoying all the good food you always wanted. Memories of both of you will stay forever in my heart.

Happy day!

Phew.. after so many upset entries.. time for a happy one! I’m just glad that the major works are over!! Today, the 2 biggest (imo) problems are rectified!

1) Managed to get the lights company to fix my 1 kitchen light! Turns out that the bulb fused… I was extremely glad with their willingness to provide after service! THUMBS UP for BRIGHT HOUSE LIGHTING!

2) Door laminate pasted (Another story will update soon) *nearly had a heart attack when the worker carried the door and knock against my hanging light!!!!! gasp.. heng ah… didn’t crack or break.. and it still works.. thank God!*

[SIDETRACK]
I THINK I HAVE THE BEST MUM – really… she helped me with the cleaning of the dusty place!! I can nv thank her enough 🙂 as though she was super woman.. she came home and cooked delicious chilli crabs!! I am so touched!!!




What’s left?
-waiting for furniture ( not much) to come in
-hoping that a washer will drop from the sky ( yes.. i haven’t bought it yet.. due to WWS)
-BH to come home and do more shopping of other household stuff ( spending money is not my kind of thing.. I think BH will enjoy shopping more than me)