Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Clown






Dress: Romwe | Shoes: Romwe | Bag: Charles & Keith | Earrings: Vincci (Similar here) | Ring: Vintage (Similar here)

Where has time gone? It's nearly the end of the year! Also, wasn't I just sixteen yesterday? WHAT HAPPENED??? 

So recently I've been daydreaming about my dream home of the future. Being the ultimate planner, I've got it almost all planned out except for the part where I pay for it. DAMMIT. 

I've visited a whole bunch of showflats and actual flats (is there a different way of referring to them?) recently and here's what I've learned about house-hunting:
1. Interior decor really makes a difference and I'm really easily fooled by nice furniture.
2. Apartments are tiny these days but also really really really really really really really expensive. 
3. The windows in showflats are 'for show only'. 
4. Real estate agents like having long pinkie fingernails.
5. Asking questions like 'hey is that other flat across the road cheaper?' will not get a desirable response.

I'm so grown up. 

Anyone have any apartment hunting tips? Or actually, more importantly, does anyone have any tips on how to make a ridiculous amount of money in a very short time without having to sell one's soul or body?

Thanks for reading... Now give me your money.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Italia - backpacker edition

Continued from the first and second post about my trip to Italy...
 
And now on to the post about my rugged manliness. Or lack thereof.

Where we stayed

After the wedding festivities were concluded, we drove a little further to an awesome little B&B called Chalet Pra Ronch which is located in Selva Val Gardena. This is where we set up base for the remainder of the trip so that we could do a little bit of hiking, and by 'little bit', I mean a hell lot.

Chalet Pra Ronch
I really loved this quaint little place because while not as spacious and luxurious as Rosa Alpina, it had everything we needed - a cozy room, a comfortable bed, a bathroom that was more than good (it's honestly better than my own bathroom at home) and most importantly, a YUMMY BREAKFAST!!

zzzzz
Seems like having a bidet is pretty common
They had these bears for sale!
Breakfast noms
I also really appreciated the warmth and hospitable nature of the people running the chalet - they were friendly and helpful about our hiking queries, and even offered to lend hiking boots and hiking sticks. 

Stuff we did

So I'm not terribly good at most sporty recreational activities - But it turns out I'm hella good at walking for a really long time. On our first hike starting at Passo Sella, we ended up walking for a good 8 hours. As I've said before, those Italian mountain people are crazy bad at estimated normal people walking speed so what was stated to be a 5 hour hike turned into 8 hours and I basically couldn't feel my legs after that but I felt super accomplished. 

Plus... The scenery was just breathtaking. 



 

For the most part, the trails in the mountains are all really well defined but it was sometime around that last photo where we kind of didn't know if we were still on the trail and it was a side of the mountain that didn't get much sunlight so there wasn't any vegetation and it was just rocks and gravel and it looked like some other planet. The photos can't do the place justice to be honest - the Dolomites needs to be experienced live. 

Bridge troll experiencing the wonders of nature
Where else in the world would you be able to find a giant penis throne in the middle of the mountains? Pretty sure no where else but then again, I have done zero research on such a topic so don't quote me on it.
Game of thrones x-rated edition
Stuff I stalked

Talking about walking really doesn't make for a very good blog post so here are some super cute animals that I saw on the trip. Some favourites include the llamas because apparently llamas aren't native to this area so someone actually brought 2 llamas to come live in the Dolomites. 

I also liked the badass goats that live near a restaurant hut, they jumped on the tables and ate flowers from the flower pot. 

Then there was this guy....
Seemingly dead
I was so concerned that we had come across a dead horse... But then thankfully after about a minute, he suddenly woke up. PHEW.
Seemingly alive. Or possibly a zombie-horse
Also, if you've never fed goats before, you have to do it. OMG they are so gentle and greedy and they make eating grass look really delicious. 

  video

These technically don't count as animals but I found them too funny not to share...
I feel like I caught this guy doing something shady. 
Care for a ride?
Perhaps what I'll miss most about the Dolomites is the friend I had to leave behind...
Byebye buddy
I'd definitely recommend the Dolomites as a vacay destination for those interested in a more active vacation. While the trails aren't difficult to manage (lots of older folk are walking these trails), they do require some energy and a certain level of commitment. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Skin science


 


Dress: Romwe | Shoes: Marks & Spencers (Similar here) | Bag: Charles & Keith (Similar here)
Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Earrings Vincci (Similar here)

So I'm not sure what's been up with my skin but I've been REALLY itchy lately. I thought it might be stress because I tend to get rashes when I'm stressed but it's come to the point where I can't be stressed every single minute of the day... Can I? Anyway, when I was in Italy, I don't think I was stressed and yet I was still so darn itchy so I think my skin is dry... Therefore... 

I've stopped using soap! 

Which is not to say that I'm a smelly dirty person who doesn't bathe, but rather, I now use a non-soap based cleanser called Physiogel. I love how the site purports to be 'the science you need for the skin you want'. I think they should change it to 'We science away your itches'. The only hurdle is really getting used to the non-foamy squeaky clean feeling which makes me feel like I'm not clean enough and therefore I use waaay more cleanser than normal (no lathering on my loofah!!)


So far, after 3 days of using it, I do feel less itchy overall so I think it's working! Now I just have to make sure I don't stress myself out and cause stress rashes. 

My god. What a problem child I am.  

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Italia - Gourmet edition

Continued from the first post about my trip to Italy...

Now to list the most important thing ever... The FOOD!

Sportstadion Pranives
So Selva Val Gardena depends pretty heavily on ski tourism and open season is typically in the summer and winter. Since we went in the fall, many establishments weren't even operating, and as we had gotten into Selva Val Gardena in the early evening on Sunday, this made the search for food even more challenging as most places are shut on Sundays. We took a walk around the small village and came across an ice skating rink that had a pizzeria within its premises - this was AWESOME because it served huge portions of super affordable but mad delicious food.

I wasn't sure what to expect food-wise when it came to hiking, I thought I'd have to rough it out but turns out, these mountains spoil their visitors. All along the trails, there are various restaurant huts for one to stop at. These huts have a wide selection of food and beverage including specialties from the region, super clean and modern washrooms (hot running water, flushing toilets etc) and even high speed wifi in some! You can choose to sit indoors or outdoors (indoors is heated!) and you can bring your pets in!

Sanon - We loved the food here - comforting, fatty and delicious!


Stubele - We found this place for dinner - it was quite busy and we initially ordered the food below as starters but cancelled our mains because the portions are HUGE and we couldn't eat anymore. The curry chicken and risotto was really good (also maybe because I love Asian food and this might be as close to Asian as Italian can get).

Starved person
Free speck on a bread stick!
Murmeltierhutte/Delle Marmotte - The food in the region is influenced by both Italian and German cuisine so names of huts (and also road/village names) have both German and Italian references. This place was hidden amongst a garden-like area of the hiking trail which made it a beautiful place to stop at. Unfortunately, the menu was in German only and the food, limited only to German cuisine. We sat at a table with some older German folks who helped us translate and order. We ordered a specialty which is the cheese with a super low fat percentage, onions, olive oil and balsamic vinegar thing and it was interesting but not as delightful as I had hoped it'd be. Weiners in soup was yums but not mind-blowing.
Sorry but MEH
Restaurant Al Sella - After a crazy day of hiking, we managed to get back here (where the car was parked) and we decided to have dinner in the restaurant before driving back to the chalet. We were really exhausted and cold and we both had a hot chocolate each... And now I'm wishing I had like, five, because that shizz was dope. The food was not too bad but that hot chocolate, oh mama!
The beef was a bit tough
Troier hutte - Pancakes with jam and icing sugar for lunch? Sure why not? People need to make breakfast a daylong affair because it's just fantastic. I loved my lunch but the boo wasn't happy with his polenta. I've googled that it's cornmeal porridge which would have been great knowledge prior to ordering it since the boo doesn't even like normal porridge. Both of the dishes ordered are considered regional specialties so at least we tried each once!
Sorry Dolomitians, but polenta is... strange
Cascade - This place in St Cristina (a small town) ranked as one of my top favourite eateries of the trip. The spinach ravioli was crazy good, and obviously you can't go wrong with pizza topped with a runny egg, and to top it off, a nutella and cream concoction to give me diabetes while making me extremely happy. MMMM.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Party animal drinking alcohol!
Obviously we couldn't leave the Dolomites without presents for our friends, family and bellies, so we went shopping for food!




Food In-speck-tor hurhurhur
One of the regional favourites is this thing called Speck which is kind of like bacon - an Italian cured smoked pork, typically the belly. It's kind of salty and they eat it with a crunchy bread biscuit usually. I think we ended up buying 10kg of food, most of which is speck.

Other delicacies include olive oil (of course), jams and marmalades, honey and chocolate. So yes. We bought all of that. Speck party anyone?

Alright, now that I've recapped my entire Dolomites diet, I'm starving! Ciao for now!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Popular






Top & Skirt set: Chicwish | Shoes: New Look (Similar here) | Sunglasses: Pieces (Similar here)
Brooch: Etsy | Earrings: Vincci (Similar here) | Ring: Vintage (Similar here

This cute gingham set makes me nostalgic as it reminds me of my kindergarten uniform. I was trying to look for a photo of me in my uniform but the photo cupboard is just insane and in no order so I gave up because I'm lazy. I just took one offline although I recall that in my time it had a little bow on each side and also was sleeveless. 
None of these children are me. They look too happy to be me.
I was sooo popular in kindergarten - I had one friend who only wanted to be my friend on days when the other kids weren't being friends with her. She would loudly announce that she's 'NOT MY FRIEND' on those days when she had better options. Trouble was, our helpers were friends and they'd bring us to Macdonalds after school sometimes and on those off days, she would literally ignore me. What a giant flaming turd. But being angry at a memory and at the folly of a child is really stupid so let's move on. 

I think however, that I did have a boyfriend then... I don't recall his name but I think he was Eurasian and wore spectacles. We'd go to the caged windows at break time... (Hey Newton Kindergarten, why the hell were the windows caged???? Were we being held captive??) and we would hold hands and count the buses going past. I think sometimes there could be up to 4 buses. DING DING DING WORLD RECORD MUCH??? 

Other than that, the memories are pretty sparse... I was a penguin in a school musical, and I fainted once during assembly (and got to go home so that was awesome), and I think I would sometimes see a boy in the class next to mine that was separated by a bookshelf and we would smile at each other. So basically, in summary, I had no friends, possibly because I was really boy-crazy, and I found really simple things joyful and memorable. 

How wonderful those simple times were. I miss it so much. What were your fondest memories?

Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Italia - Vogue edition

I think I've rambled on long enough for you to know that I've recently returned from a vacation in Italy - The Dolomites to be exact! 
A picture of a map of the Dolomites (I hope)
The boo and I were attending the boo's good friend's mountain wedding, after which we stayed on to do some hiking.

I've decided to split this post into the glamorous part followed by the rugged part (rugged because I totally conquered that mountain like a yeti).

Day 1 - We landed in Munich airport (Initial perceptions: so organised, so clean, much like Singapore, more to come in a later post) and rented a car (an Opel because EUROPE baby) and drove the 4 plus hours to San Casssiano in Alta Badia.

The couple provided accommodation for the duration of the wedding festivities at Rosa Alpina which is luxurious while being quaint and cosy (is that even possible? Who knows? Maybe my English just fails). 

The main part of the bedroom where the magic (sleeping) happens
There's complimentary dark chocolate on the table. I totally ate that.
A small walk in wardrobe? Don't mind if I do.
The bathroom that's the size of a small country
A small balcony for us to yell at people down below from
We quickly unpacked and headed down for a late lunch in the hotel's bar & grill. Totally devoured my food.
Delicious pasta as first Italian meal. Check.
It had snowed for a few days prior to our arrival and the snow was actually in the process of defrosting but we thought we'd venture out for a short hike (also to prevent jet lag from totally destroying us).

You will not defeat me mountain/jet lag!
Actually beautiful ok???
We hiked up a nearby hill and ok it looks super bleak and depressing in the photo but it was actually really gorgeous and only about maybe 2-5 degrees celsius so it was quite manageable. Plus I got to throw snow/ice balls at the boo while he flew his drone around.

The sun was beginning to set so we headed back to Rosa Alpina for a relaxing dip in the hot tub!
Yes, there is a pool too but nope, didn't swim, looked cold. Plus. Lazy.
Like a boss. LOL.
HAHAHAHAHA omg that picture just cracks me up. If I wind up dead tomorrow. You know who did it.

The pamper party didn't stop there yo. There was a steam room and a sauna too but no photos because all the photos are just steamed up and lame. Let's just enjoy the photo from above one more time.
Don't kill me please.
Anyway, then, because we're fancy pants, we went for a luxurious body massage in the hotel's spa (it was quite expensive but not as good as the best massage I've ever had in the world (Como Phuket omg drooool).
Bathrobes always equates to relaxation. Or Hugh Hefner. Whatevs.
We were ready to pass out after so we headed to the hotel's bar and grill and ate....
Pizzzzzzaaaaaaaaaa & burgerrrrr
Not unhealthy AT ALL. Major food coma ensued. 

Day 2 - Wedding festivities introduction. Most of the guests were arriving at various times on this day so the couple planned out some awesome activities for the guests. It began with a 7am yoga class which was very relaxing and slow paced. So much breathing. It took place indoors next to the swimming pool. 

NOMS time. We ate a sumptuous breakfast in the hotel's dining lounge fit for an Italian king.
IMUNNAEATCHOO
The fruits are really fresh and sweet and juicy, and there were a huge assortment of jams, pastries, and various spreads (like NUTELLA OMG YESSSS) and the crepe was so sweet and yummy (I had 2 per breakfast).

But all those calories needed to be burned so a short while later, we took a short van ride to the start of the trail that would lead us to Scotoni Hut. 
The beginning
Hiking in a tank top in 10 degrees celsius past a llama.
I thought it would be easypeasy but it was actually pretty challenging as there were a lot of uphill bits. But when we got up, it was totally worth it...
You pretty thing.
We got up to Scotoni Hut, took a short break and then proceeded to climb even further up to a beautiful lake. 
Pro photo skills Alex. *Self five*
I jumped around and climbed on a bunch of rocks and drew my name in the snow and tried to hug some strangers' dogs (in case you were afraid I didn't have my priorities in order). Then we headed back down to Scotoni hut for the yums. 

2040m above sea level. That's high right?
This is like some rad grilled mix plate with ribs, sausages, veg, potatoes.
Actually there was a lot of food but I didn't take more photos because I was busy stuffing my face. 

After lunch, there were a couple of options to get back but we chose the longest option ever and ended up hiking back. If the Italians in the Dolomites ever tell you something is like an hour long, multiply that by like 2.5 just to be safe. Even all their signs are misleading. It's like mountain time or something. Sherpas be like yo, I can climb this mountain in like an hour (but they have crazy strong legs and butts and can probably do leg lifts with me as the weight while eating a pizza).  

But it was beautiful and rewarding because I can totally eat a pizza now and think about doing leg lifts.Waitaminute that's not how that works.

The welcome dinner started with an olive oil and wine tasting. By then I was so hungry I was ready to drink the olive oil. Then we proceeded to the bar and grill for MORE FOOD. 

Alex wears stuff
Beautiful dinner setting
DESSERT!
Successful day! ZZZZZZ. 

Day 3 - The main wedding festivities took place on Saturday. The couple had organised an early morning hike for the adventurous but I couldn't get out of bed so we missed it :(

After the delicious but guilt-ridden breakfast, we got ready for the snazziest mountain formal wedding ever. A bunch of us walked a short distance to the gondolas (kind of like cable cars to us Singaporeans) which then brought us up the mountain where we walked another 10 Dolomites minutes (Singapore 25 minutes). If you're wondering, what is mountain formal. It is sadly not this: 
But quite close... On those days I don't shave.
Kickin' it in mountain formal.
Formal attire with sensible shoes because the ground is wet/soggy/not easy to walk on but seriously, converse is so awesome I thought it totally made the look. 

After the hike, we got to the wedding ceremony venue. It was seriously breathtaking. While the guests waited, we sipped on champagne and listened to an acoustic guitarist play some soft tunes. 

Imagine getting married with that backdrop. Stunning.
For throwing, not eating.
To respect the privacy of the bride, groom and guests, I won't be including any obvious pictures of them but just believe me, the couple looked great, as would happen when you're in love, and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house (errr... mountain) after they said their vows.

We walked a short ways upwards to the lunch venue which was outdoors and seriously beautifully decorated. The table setting is enough to make we want to quit my job and become a florist.


I was seated at this table
 And then.... FOOD. 
I ate all this and more.
A cake of cheese is the best damn wedding cake idea ever.
We followed this lovely affair by going for a brisk jog and doing weights in the hotel's gym. KIDDING! We napped and it was great. 

After our food-induced snoozefest, we dolled ourselves up all pretty for the black tie dinner. Look at James Bond over there. It's not a phone for wefies, it's a deadly weapon which shoots lasers and mini grenades. 
Martini, shaken, not stirred.
I sat at the table called Saxifraga and you know it's cos I'm a sexifraga.
 
The speeches by the bride's uncle, groom's friend and brother, and the song by the two fathers of the couple made this intimate affair even more memorable and touching. The groom and bride both made speeches that elicited laughter but also more tears so basically omg it was just the most romantic wedding I think I've ever attended.

This super important cake that might actually be a UFO with fruit on it which is the size of Texas (maybe, I don't know geography), appeared and we ate it big time. And by 'we' I mean 'me'.


Then drinking and dancing happened!
The lobby of the hotel turned into a little disco and the couple did their first dance! Then everyone joined in as the band played some pretty old classics.

The groom brought in a whole bunch of fancy whiskeys... So that people could get their drank on and as I love to say it, get so dranks we fellz down! The boo also commented the following day, "I didn't take any photos of us because I was busy taking photos of the whiskey".


After everyone started getting... a little tipsy... the DJ came out to keep the party going. I'd like to lay claim to the longest most energetic and stupidest dance off ever to have happened in the Dolomites. Classic moves such as the chicken, the grocery shop, and the hula hoop were busted out that special night.

One thing I really thought was awesome was how I could drink champagne, then run back to the table near the dining lounge and eat cheese. YAAAASSSSS. The cheese was free flowing. Then some pasta came out and I thought maybe I had died and gone to heaven.


But as you know, all good things must come to an end. And to quite an end indeed. Below is a perfect example of someone who looks totally cool but is hungover and has to wear shades to brunch. 


So that concludes the glamorous part of our Italy trip. Stick around for the next post which will show me getting all rugged and tough like the badass that I am.

Oh how rude, to end with a picture of a drunken man. I think this is much better...

Sexifraga much. Yes. They have a tanning bed.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (Sorry if I made you voms.)

Thanks for reading!