Wednesday, February 23, 2011

twg tea ♥

Favorite tea place in Singapore, TWG Tea

This time I tried the iced Snow Mountain tea. It's a fruity red tea I think? Anyway my favorite teas that always I buy home to brew are Charlemagne and Silver Moon. Silver Moon is a green tea blended with strawberries, it's light and sweet; while Charlemagne is a blend of green and white teas, with strawberries and roses

My favorite pâtisserie (other than tiramisu), frasier! I love strawberries, and the génoise sponge cake and almond cream go perfectly with them to form this delectable goody~ And look at all the strawberries mwahahaha

The back view! I love how whole round fraisier cakes look, because you can see strawberries pasted all around the cakes~

Raspberry mousse that my friend ordered. A bit sour for my liking but well-made nonetheless.

Profiterole! This has a cinnamon-ish cream filling, yummy! I have a long looong way to go before I can make profiteroles like this!

Chocolate cake with ice-cream!

TWG also has a really yummy matcha-almond cream filling which it uses in its Paris-Brest, however I haven't seen it in stores in ages and I'm not sure if they serve it anymore :( But there's this matcha pastry with strawberries that's worth trying. And everybody loves the Singapore Sling, which it like a crème brûlée cake filled with berries ^^

Ooh and their tea-infused macarons are delicious too! And the tea jelly that's served with scones/madeleines/financiers is really tasty, especially the vanilla bourbon one.

Although as a tea itself vanilla bourbon is a bit chocolatey and not to my liking, when used in food/baked goods it's really great! Made mini cupcakes with them and the taste was

After decorating with icing

A 50gram packet of tea costs around $7 for most regular teas (Geisha Blossom, Fruit Mountain, Alexandria, Vanilla Bourbon, Silver Moon etc) Charlemagne is around $14 per 50 grams, but it's really good, my favorite tea ever!

Friday, February 18, 2011

JYJ concert in April! ♥

JYJ's gonna have a Singapore leg for their concert tour! That's the best thing I've heard all year (other than the lawsuit against them being dismissed), happy~ ♥ Can't wait!! I've been waiting for them to hold a full-length concert here since 2004, and finally, they will be~~♥♥♥

I've always connected more with their Japanese songs, as I became a fan of theirs while I was learning Japanese. I heard their a cappella and fell in love. And at that time, their Japanese wasn't very good yet, for like me, they were still learning as well. Over the years, as I continued studying Japanese and they continued their Japanese activities, I saw how hard they tried and how tremendous their improvement (in their language skills and as performers) was. Seeing them so all-rounded spurred me on.

There were times when I was getting sick of learning Japanese and wanted to quit because it was getting to the advanced stages of difficult and "boring" stuff like reading about politics and writing essays on societal problems, but I held on till the end of A-Levels because of a wonderful bunch of guys - DBSK. They were my inspiration and motivation (: (In 2006, I translated their Japanese magazine and news articles and television interviews for O-Level practice hehe.)

Whenever I hear certain songs they remind me of certain stages in my life. I've been listening to DBSK since I was 14, so a huge chunk of my memorable years can be linked to their songs, and now JYJ songs will forever be linked to my university years (: After they stopped activities in Japan, I was saddened, but I started learning Korean, so that I could understand them (: Now the world is their stage! Though I've still got a long way to go before my proficiency matches that of my Japanese, I hope I'll get there someday (:

Currently, I really like all the songs in their Music Essay. They've really grown a lot not just as singers and composers, but as people in general, since they debuted. Despite all they've achieved they're still very humble and still as or even more hard-working than when they first started out. They're very grounded and down-to-earth, and really love and care about their fans. Hearing them sing live just makes my heart swell and makes it want to burst from happiness. Their lives are really a whole lot better than their recordings, their voices resonate deeply and touch the depths of your heart. I'm so glad I got to become their fan ♥

Anyways, the point of this post was: I'm so happy and I can't wait! :D ♥

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day ♥

Happy Valentine's Day everyone~! ♥ Even if you're single, it doesn't have to be SAD. (Singles Awareness Day) You can celebrate this day with your other loved ones like friends and family. After all, Valentine's day is all about love and appreciation, of which there are many types ♥

This year, I made choux pastries - profiteroles/mini cream puffs! Although this was my very first time making them, I'm happy to report that everything turned out great! You just boil water and butter, and add in flour, then eggs, mix well, form balls on a cookie tray and stick them in the oven! It's that easy~ ♥

So how do they look? I didn't bother taking many pictures cos my hands were full of batter/cream/chocolate and I was rushing for time ^^ This was right after dipping the finished choux in melted chocolate, hence the chocolate still looks wet and runny. (Hehe the chocolate coating can cover the unevenness and imperfections on the top too ^^) I used 75% cacao dark chocolate infused with orange. The chocolate itself is quite bitter, so I made a really sweet custard cream filling.

Another angle. The chocolate started to dry so it looks thicker/less watery here. When it dries it's not as glossy. This was my first time making the cream as well, and it ended up a bit too custardy tasting. (I think I added too much vanilla essence.) But I'm really quite happy with the way my choux puffs ended up, I'd like to think of them as very successful (in terms of shape/texture) for a first time try :D

On another note, I redid my nails. Used hot pink as a base, sponged on white at the tips and a few patches of black. However I thought they looked a bit boring/plain so I added more colors, and...

Finaly product! This is how it is now~ ♥ I sponged patches of blue and green at the bottom to add color, some pink and red cos the pink was getting all covered up, and added more white at the tips as well as bigger, more noticeable patches of black. Overall I'm quite pleased with the final outcome.

Once again, a happy Valentine's Day to all~ ♥♥♥

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gmarket Tips 4 - G-Lotto

I was originally was gonna make a mini-tutorial on how to use this, but some time after I finished the images, seems like Gmarket made an English page for it. So now it'll be easier to explain~ However images are originally from the Korean version cos I already made them before finding out there was gonna be an English version. I tried to fix them/replace Korean text with text from the English version so that they'll look as much as the English page version ^^ But they might look a bit patchy/off cos the base is still the Korean version.

So what is G-Lotto? It may be new to the English page, but it's been around on the Korean page for about a year or so. Like its name suggests, it's a lotto on Gmarket. The lotto tickets/numbers are free and randomly generated, you can get 1 number per item purchased, you just have to go to the G-Lotto page to apply.

There are 4 levels of prizes:
1st Prize: 5million won cash (1 winner per week)
2nd Prize: 1million won cash (2 winners per week)
3rd Prize: 10,000won Gmarket coupon (2,500 winners per week)
4th Prize: 2,000won Gmarket coupon (10,000 winners per week)

First! Go to the Glotto page here. You can access it from the Gmarket homepage, it's a box on the right corner.

When you get to the page, click the orange button on the bottom left "After Purchase Draw G-Lotto". You can only draw G-Lotto numbers after purchasing something from Gmarket. You can't draw a number if you haven't bought anything ^^ You can draw a G-Lotto number up to 2 weeks after you've purchased your items.

After clicking, a popup will appear. You can draw one number per item bought. There'll be a list of the items you've purchased within the past 2 weeks, with checkboxes on the left. Select the ones you with to draw for and click the left box. (Sorry, I made this after I had drawn, and can't remember what the boxes said.)

***Note: In order to be able to draw G-Lotto numbers, your item has to be bought through "plus" connection. This means that you must see a little blue "plus" button beside the item when you checkout your cart. If when you purchased there was no "plus" button, you cannot draw G-Lotto numbers for that item.

After drawing numbers or your items, you can check your numbers at the following "Check my G-Lotto" tab. Numbers are drawn randomly.

To check winners, click "See all winners" on the upper right side of the G-Lotto page. A popup will appear listing the 1st and 2nd prize winners. The drop-down menu on the upper left lets you navigate to different draws. To see if/what you've won, click the "Check my winning list" tab at the top.

The page will look something like the above if you've won something. It'll show the number and prize you won. For 1st (5million won cash) and 2nd (1million won cash) prizes, Gmarket will email you details on how to collect your prize. For 3rd (10,000won coupon) and 4th (2,000won coupon) prizes, you can find the coupon in your coupon box the Monday after that week's draw.

If you didn't win anything, the page'll be blank and state "There is no records".

So everytime you buy something from Gmarket, don't forget to draw your G-Lotto numbers~ It doesn't take much time and who knows, you might actually win something!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shoes + stationery + JYJ love ♥

Look what came in the mail? Latest haul from Gmarket~ Made its way to me just in time before the New Year delays! So I got the JYJ Music Essay I've been waiting for it to come out since I heard the songs from the Seoul Concert! Also got 3 pairs of heels (wedges actually), another bag from Suanna, necklaces, a bunch of colorful pens and a diary which came with a ton of freebies. Gotta love the generous seller.

The box this time was so huuuuge! I could fit into it! (albeit uncomfortably) It was almost 9kg, but most of the weight was probably the multiple boxes...and the weight of the shoes.

The individual boxes inside. It's only half full, actually there's still a lot of empty space!

First pair of shoes Black wedges with gold studs from Heeltown.I love this for the different sized studs, the zip-edged cross straps and the side zip with fringe tassels. Plus points for the straps going above the ankles. These are actually wedges so they're really comfortable to walk in.

Picture of them worn. Pardon the angle cos my mirror is attached to the door of my cupboard so I can't take pictures with it, so I can only take a photo of me looking down at my feet ^^ These were a steal at 8,500won, inclusive of domestic shipping charges of 2,500won. I think they were clearing summer stock, most of the other non-winter shoes were OOS.

The other 2 pairs of shoes I got were from the seller Paris Avenue. Their shoes, especially the wedges are lovely! They have such pretty designs which come in nice colors. The material for most of their wedges is suede. They were around 21,000won each. But the quality/sturdiness is better than the Heeltown pair. The fit as well.

For heels/open toed shoes I'm a 39 in European sizing, 6 for UK sizing, so I got a 250, which is usually the biggest size for most sellers on Gmarket. Sometimes they fit well, other times they don't, it really depends on the seller. I'm glad to say that Paris Avenue was absolutely perfect for me

The first pair I got's called "Tommy London". I originally wanted black but that was sold out. Anyway I already got a black pair (the studded ones from Heeltown) so I thought I'd try navy. And oooh isn't the color pretty I'm glad I got it!

Picture of them worn. These go above the ankles too! Makes your legs look longer hehe. I think. Doesn't it? There's a zipper at the back so you don't actually need to buckle all the straps to put these on. Like I mentioned, sizing for this brand/seller is great!

Side view! These are wedges The padding/material of the sole makes it super comfortable to walk in. And the wedge part is covered with the same navy suede material as the rest of the shoe. Which is great cos sometimes for other sellers/models the top half of the shoe is one color, but the bottom half, the wedge, is like cork/straw or black. But for Paris Avenue all their shoes have colored wedges/wedges covered with the same material as the rest of the shoe. Red, purple, brown, navy, black etc

The second pair I got from Paris Avenue, "Megan" in brown These have laces in the front and a zip at the back. You can wear them either way, either by using the zip or by tying/untying the laces. I like using the laces!

Picture when worn. The height of the heel is the same as "Tommy London", 10cm, but the straps/top of this pair ends below the ankle So it's more casual hehe. Once again, they're very comfortable. And they make your ankles look thin (: Again that's what I think haha. But my legs don't look as long here as they do in with Tommy London so it's not a delusion right!

Side/closeup view. The heel is covered with the same material as the rest of the shoe. Brown suede. These are uber comfy and the sizing and fit is great too!

I've gotten 2 other pairs of heels from 2 other sellers in previous orders from Gmarket, (Sinnanda and Heelda), all in 250 as well, but the cut was always a tad tiny so I'd end up with blisters :( The Sinnanda pair was due to the strap at the front, after walking a long time the top of my toes/side of little toe got blisters. Both pairs had zips at the back which weren't comfortable, cos I think the shoes were a bit short, and they ended at the ankle, so I got blisters at the back of my ankles because the top of the zipper cut into the back of my ankle. But the ones from Paris Avenue are perfect and aren't tight in any places. And even though Megan's zip ends at the ankle, it doesn't cut into me. The Heeltown pair's a bit short (ie front toes stick out a bit) but that won't cause blisters, cos the strap's not tight, the zip's at the side and the whole shoe goes above my ankle. So, I love it~

Got more necklaces from Jenashop. Another owl and a big round pendant. This owl has a more delicate feel than the previous leafy owl. The ribbon hair tie was a freebie with 2 necklaces purchased

Close up of the pendant! The stones surrounding are set one by one, so this necklace will spruce up any plain outfit (:

And I got another bag from Suanna~ After seeing how great the quality of the Angel Wings Big Bag was, I decided to get another bag from Suanna. This time I got the Katharine Mash Bag Season 2 in Mocha Chocolate. Season 2 has the front pocket/bow/lock thing, the season 1 version doesn't. When I bought it it was 37,800won, but now it's selling for only 29,800won! Guess I don't feel too bad since I got it for ~32,000won after using coupons. It comes in other colors like white, black and smoky violet, which looks like gray.

Like all Suanna bags it came with a large dust bag with the words Suanna Black Label.

The interior of the bag. This is probably the most true to the color picture. The Katharine Mash Bag doesn't have as many compartments as the Angel Wings Big Bag, but it still has a zipped compartment and 2 pockets for phone/ipod. And there's outside compartment at the front of the bag. This bag is a shoulder/tote bag and has a zip closure for the main compartment.

The outside compartment/pocket has a magnetic closure ♥

Another view of the interior. The inner lining is really nice! (The color in this pic is a bit off, see the 2 pics above!) It's soft and satiny and of good quality. Most bags on Gmarket usually have the thick cottony/linen/rough lining that's either black or in some print that doesn't match.

And this one came free with the Katharine Mash Bag! I don't know what the name of this model is though. It reminds me of a bucket bag due to how it's closed, the gathered top. It's made of a satiny material, really soft. You probably shouldn't use this for heavy stuff. The quilted part at the bottom is somehow reinforced I think, the material's a lot thicker than the non-quilted part at the top.

And even though it was free, it came with a dust bag as well~

The inside has a zip compartment as well~ And mobile phone pockets too. It's But oh well it was a freebie and I'm sure I'll find some way to match it with something! (:

And my beloved JYJ Music Essay. Which I was dying with anticipation waiting for And after it came I just couldn't wait and already posted a separate, more detailed post here!

The back side of the box/package.

The planner and the 4 bookmarks! 1 each of the members and 1 group.

The CD and lyrics booklet at the back.

Got a set of Staedtler pens in a hot pink casing~ 20 pens! I actually got another set a few years back, but obviously they've been used up and when I saw these on Gmarket I just had to get them. Got it at 13,000won from the seller Lovepen.

The case can be unrolled to this! Each pen has it's own band holder so it won't slip And there's a detachable zip case on the left, beside the yellow pen. (It's kind of cut off in the pic, you can see half of it ^^)

And onto the diary! The seller, CMtoo, taped the box with this pretty pink and white checked tape

I got this Edge Calligraphy diary and sticker set. The diary comes in a box, and the sticker set comes in its own plastic.

And these were freebies! Just for that diary+sticker set! The seller kindly gave me a mini -hanging calendar, a passport cover from Mono Village, a set of adorable post-its from the same brand as the calendar, a card holder, and a set of stickers. How generous!

The diary itself came in a box, and came with a clear PVC cover, 2 sheets of stickers, and calendar sheet cards. The 2 sheets of stickers that came with the diary are different from the sticker set.

This was a very very satisfying haul Well, it wasn't really a haul cos I didn't get that many items, but the stationery freebies and 3 pairs of wedges made it seem like a haul ehehe. And no I haven't bought much clothes from Gmarket since summer because all their clothes now are thick, woolly winter clothes...which will totally kill me in Singapore's heat! Although I really really love the winter shoes :( But I can't even wear closed shoes (other than flimsy thin flats) here without my feet feeling like they're in a sauna! So I'm just waiting for the pretty spring dresses (: