Coffee Bean’s Almond Pistachio Danish… 

I’m quite stoked that Christmas is coming soon. Yet at the same time, I’m aware of the fleeting nature of this festive season. It doesn’t stay long enough, or as long as I would have liked it to be. Year after year, it’s the same anticipation, and hoping that it would not end, then the cycle repeats.

Following from my last post on Christmas food items at the cafes, there was also something from Coffee Bean’s festive menu that I had wanted to check out, one of which was the Pistachio Almond Danish. I do find Danish pastries a little on the sweet side usually, but this one looked fairly safe and fluffy, from its cross-section, so I ordered it one of those days when I popped in for breakfast (that I thought would be quite light). Well, it wasn’t that heavy to be very honest, even though it’s supposedly a brioche. And I think it wasn’t laced with too much sugar to make it sweet like I imagined too. However, the thing that made this item a “miss” was another taste that overwhelmed everything else. Maybe that was why I didn’t think it was too sweet or buttery. The Danish had an air of stale oil when I bit into it, especially the inside. It was like as if the item had been standing for too long and whatever oil used that was trapped within had turned a little rancid. I thought it was my imagination and actually ate about half of it, but each bite confirmed the taste. The outer crust did not have that offending taste/smell, probably because of the benefit of being exposed and not having the oil trapped inside, but it was overall a disappointing choice. Typically, where pastries are concerned, I don’t waste much of them, except for overly-generous creams and stuff that are piled on top of cakes, but I just couldn’t make myself finish the Danish somewhat.There are other Christmas items on Coffee Bean’s festive offerings, but I had already tried their fruit cake last year, which wasn’t too bad. There is also a Lemon Meringue tart, which looks rather interesting but I’m now worried that it might be too sweet, knowing as to how it’s a meringue. Probably I won’t go so wrong with the log-cakes or stollen, but then you never know.

Starbucks Christmas 2015 Muffin

The season is here again! Since October I have already been looking forward to Christmas… or rather the whole year I have been looking forward to Christmas. It isn’t just the festive vibes that I anticipate, but the cool weather too. Despite that I am not such a big fan of the rainy season sometimes, especially when I am outside and have to get my feet or shoes wet. Rain in Singapore can be quite a horrible experience because of the thunderstorms and heavy downpours that make being out in the rain a ‘get-drenched’ affair, even with an umbrella. Yes, I think we will need a golf umbrella, a raincoat/poncho (heavy duty type) and Wellingtons, in order to stay dry.

So… I have digressed. This is the season when cafes start coming out with their festive menu, whether food or beverages. Since Starbucks is one of my usual joints, even if they don’t serve exceptionally good coffee (in fact, most people think their coffee is horrid but it works fine for me), their Christmas stuff are usually something that I would  give a try, at least a few items, at least once. The first thing that I picked for food was the Apple Cinnamon Muffin. This photo is taken off the website of Starbucks Singapore; if I have the chance, I’ll post my own photo later. :)


Is there anything special about this muffin? Well, for one, I think the hint of cinnamon isn’t very strong. That is probably good for people who are not so into it; but then if you aren’t, you probably wouldn’t even order this item right? What tops the muffin, as well as contained within (albeit in a rather small amount) is similar to what you would find in an apple pie, candied/spiced bits of apple. I think it isn’t exceedingly sweet, based on my memory of it until now, and since it is not huge for a muffin, it is just about nice to go with a nice, hot cup of Americano.

Drinks wise, I am quite happy they brought back the Gingerbread Latte. Apparently, that is what they wrote, but I don’t really remember this being on our local festive menu. For the last years when I had it, or even the first time I heard of and tried it, it was always overseas. Nevertheless, I’m glad we have it this year and that was of course the first drink I had! It isn’t as sweet as the Toffee Nut Latte, and because it has some hints of spice from the gingerbread syrup used (I assume), I generally enjoyed it and preferred it over the TNL.

Furniture Shopping (part 2)

Following the earlier post on shopping for sofas, I re-considered the colour of the sofa that I should buy because I thought that against a wall painted in a fairly dark shade of grey, a light grey sofa or a blue sofa may create too much distraction. I tried searching online for some ideas of sofa colours that would suit a dark wall, and the general opinion seems that if I’m furnishing a small room, it may be better to stick to a colour that would blend into the wall, which could help to alleviate the possibility of the living area appearing congested or crammed. The contrast in colour of the sofa would make it stand out, if that’s the intention, but I think I would rather create the impression of a larger room, due to the tight space availability.

Well, maybe you would ask why I would choose to paint my wall a dark shade of grey then, since dark colours are generally supposed to make spaces appear smaller, which is exactly what I wouldn’t want. But I’m not painting the whole living room grey, it’s just one slab of wall, which happens to be the one that the sofa would be backed up against.

Furnishing a home, according to many, is fun and exciting. But for someone like me who can get extremely fickle, it is nothing short of a headache, even if there are not that many pieces that I have to think about. One other challenge is the size of the furniture, as my living area is small and is in a longish-rectangular shape.

That said, it’s something necessary and I think when everything’s settled, I hope I can look at the end product and give myself a pat on the back for a job well done.

For some time, I have refrained from talking about my new home, whether it was during the scouting and prospecting phase, the purchasing phase, the renovation phase (that is thankfully nearing the end, I hope, with fingers tightly-crossed), and of course the furnishing phase. I have left out the cleaning and moving in phases, because I am not looking forward to having to clean up the flat when everything’s done, and making that final transit to moving in, permanently. So why do I talk about it now? Maybe I have nothing else to really write about, or that I feel like writing about. Or maybe I think it’s not that big a deal to have to keep it secret. Well there are a lot of ‘maybes’.

So… after the long mulling on the sofa, I decided to go for the bundled option of a sofa with the ottoman, hoping that the ottoman could perhaps double as a side/coffee-table (with a tray on-top) if necessary, or otherwise it could just be a seat for visitors, since I am getting a small 2-seater. I considered taking the light grey, but I checked with the vendor, who informed that they could only deliver it in January, which is not ideal because I planned to have everything ready, hopefully by the end of 2015. So I picked the dark grey, or as they call it, charcoal.

Hanford Bundle_charcoal

I went down to the shop today and paid for the above. The sales person attending to me told me I had 48 hours to re-think the choice of colour, and if I really wanted the light grey, I can opt to have it, but would have to wait till end January for delivery.

So now that is something that weighs on my mind, at least for the next 48 hours until everything gets cast in stone. And then I recalled that I had another option, or at least that is what I think I may have, which I had not checked with the sales person. I saw another sofa in the online catalogue that looked nice too. Tracy Loveseat_charcoal

Yes, I know. Itchy backside. I didn’t see it at the showroom when I popped by to make the purchase of the earlier sofa. I think this one looks good too, but I don’t know how it would feel, in terms of the firmness of the seat cushions. I should go and find out.

Furniture shopping

Was tossing between this:

Hanford Bundle

And this:picket & rail_kuka

To be honest, I can’t really remember how both felt when I sat on them, on 2 separate occasions, in 2 different showrooms. Tried searching online for reviews of their brands, to not much results. Hmm. Furniture shopping is indeed a headache, even when there aren’t that many pieces that I am considering to add to my tiny little home. I’m thankful for that at least. But the sofa is going to be one major item that will sit in the living room so it will be an important decision to make.


Interacting with human beings is what most of us have to do on almost a daily basis. Especially in an interconnected world that we live in now, and the kind of society we belong to. It is tough to not have to encounter at least one (and this is not even remotely possible) interaction with a fellow human being, whether it is family, friends, colleagues or simply a stranger such a service staff at a cafe that we visit, the cashier at the grocery store, or even just someone we bump into and offer a cursory apology.

It is a skill, and an art, in the sense that, we all know how to interact with another but how good we are at it is a mastery. I don’t profess to be very good at it, but it is something that has become a rather significant part of my job, whether in the past jobs or even now, perhaps more so now than before.

There are my off days, during the weekends, where I get the opportunity to not have to deal with so many interactions. I don’t have a rich social life, so my weekends are usually times where I spend with myself and mostly, the interaction I have to make are minimal.

I wonder if the way things are, with work and then my choice of company (or not) during the weekends, have made me dull to interaction. There are situations… people, whom I just find it hard to communicate with now. I didn’t have that much problem in the past, but now I find it challenging, a struggle; or maybe I am just giving myself the choice to opt out of interaction totally. And this has probably also morphed into a vibe that I am giving off, that is making people not want to interact with me. When it comes to people initiating interaction with me, it is not often, and it is rare that I am one of the people that friends would think of first when they have things they would want someone to confide in. I asked a friend before, why that is so, pointedly, if perhaps I don’t treat people ‘well enough’ to make them want to confide in me, to take me as close friend. After all, we do unto others what we want others do unto us, right? The response that came back was nothing short of disheartening. I tried to reflect and change, but how do I go about it and how should I go about it?

Inside… everything is going through a roller coaster ride of sorts daily. Perhaps it is getting too much for my system to handle, and the cracks are starting to show or rather, I am starting to feel them. Everything is just whizzing by me in a blur. Time is passing too fast, like I hadn’t even had the opportunity to take stock and it’s already halfway through November, with less than 50 days before we welcome a brand new year.

What lies in store in 2016?

Happy Plate Movement

I came across this cause sometime ago on Instagram, and thought it was a really apt movement, but something that is extremely challenging in a developed society like Singapore where food waste on a daily basis counts in enormous amounts. I think that most of all don’t (I hope) consciously want to waste food, because we all know how precious food is, especially in the context of famine happening in many parts of the world’s developing nations, but in a place like ours, it is something inevitable. It is probably not entirely unavoidable but to be able to not waste food would be a tumultuous journey. Nonetheless, I really applaud this initiative to raise awareness of food wastage and hopefully encourage people towards lessening food waste!

It may sound hypocritical, coming from me, who regularly scraps off stuff like cream from cakes, or excess fillings from toasts/sandwiches e.g. kaya or butter, but I have tried to make some adjustments where eating habits are concerned, by not ordering those cakes that come with too much cream unless it is a no-choice kind of situation where the cake is proffered as part of someone’s birthday celebration, not ordering kaya butter toast but opting instead for peanut butter toast that I would clean off every single crumb, and even asking for “no rice” when I order my favourite economical rice! There was a time when I ate salads almost on a daily basis during lunch time because it is one of those items that I would finish every single morsel of food in the salad box, but it just caused me to become so bloated thereafter that I had to stop.

So here is a picture of my empty plate! See how the plate is almost cleaned off of its original contents of a huge turkey sandwich with a portion of side salad. I love the sandwiches at Coffee Bean, and it’s no secret I love bread, especially the whole wheat bread that they serve, so ordering this item would ensure that I finish everything. Well, it does seem like a large sandwich but honestly, it is only just nice for me, and a few hours later, I am hungry or peckish again. Haha. I do have a ravenous appetite when it comes to breads!