Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Isaiah 41:10

It's barely half-term and I'm already treading on thin ice. I'm really worried for myself, I can see my panic attacks affecting my grades in the most devastating way possible.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Riverside Indonesian BBQ

Today we went to Plaza Singapura because I was craving the Indonesian BBQ stall at its Kopitiam that I saw on someone's Instagram (lol what has the world become). I ordered the Grilled Fish set and my mom ordered the Grilled Chicken set. You can order an extra side of vegetables for eighty cents and I am so glad that I did!

My grilled fish was really tasty! They gave me two giant fillets of the fish, also lathered in the same black sweet sauce. However, the skin of the fish gets a little hard after a while and becomes rather chewy...but the meat made up for it!

The grilled chicken was so succulent and tender! It wasn't all tough and rubbery and hard like most chicken dishes are. The portion was quite generous as well, with the whole chicken thigh slapped on your plate, with black sweet sauce poured generously over the rice and meats.

Besides the meats and rice, there also was an egg omelette, which was thick and not as oily as most omelettes you buy from hawker stalls/food courts.

The vegetables were soft and oh-so-yummy! A very large scoop they have too, totally worth the eighty cents.

If you're craving barbecued food, I strongly recommend Riverside Indonesian BBQ! I'm not exaggerating when I say that almost three quarters of the Kopitiam patrons had ordered from the same stall! The only flaw I can point out is the location as Plaza Singapura is really crowded, especially on the weekends. We were blessed to have found a seat the minute we strided into the food court!

Riverside Indonesian BBQ
Level 6 (Kopitiam)
Plaza Singapura
$5.70 for grilled chicken/fish set
+80c for vegetables
+50c for additional rice

Thursday, January 24, 2013

C. B. Paul Science Quiz 2013

Today, Gaby, Keshia and I took part in the 35th annual C. B. Paul Science Quiz organized by the Science and Mathematics Council at Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) as well as the National University of Singapore (NUS). We were not exactly prepared for the competition but were nonetheless excited! We were to go through a preliminary round, where all candidates had to complete two papers (all MCQs) and the four team with the highest combined scores would proceed to the Final Round. Our school only sent in one team, and even though we weren't the top four performing teams, both Gaby and I won prizes for our individual efforts! Gaby got the Silver medal and I received the Gold medal!!! I was so surprised when my name was flashed on the screen and yeah words just can't describe that feeling of excitement and ecstasy! The paper was terribly challenging, and I didn't expect to get any award after the recipients of the Bronze and Silver awards were called out. However, by God's grace, I was able to clinch the Gold medal! The top ten percent of candidates received the Gold medal, which means about twenty or thirty other students shared this glory with me, but no matter. A medal's a medal. It really boosted my confidence in applying for Raffles Junior College:-)

Let me emphasize again that the paper was insanely hard and the questions really pitted my thinking skills to the extreme, making my head literally hurt after the paper was over.

The tea reception was good and I took like three tuna sandwiches! I love love love bread even though it's terribly stuffed with delicious carbs. Oh well, I need food for my brain to function!

During the Final Round, the teams participating had to answer these really hard questions within a minute or less. I got like four questions in a row correct! Haha yay that got me feeling really proud of myself lol maybe I'm just to easily contented.

(This appeared during Speech Day later in the year!)

Today was brilliant and I am so incredibly grateful for supportive parents who never give up on me

Obolo Galeria

Met up with my family and we had dinner at Obolo Galeria, the top of my "Restaurants I want to dine in" list in my previous blog post! It was a form of celebratory dinner I guess. :-) as we were all not exactly ravenous, we ordered three dinner set meals to share: Wild mushroom aglio olio, roasted chicken pasta in cream sauce as well as the Cajun chicken sandwich.

The food was f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s! I would definitely come back again for more, especially the macaroons! Obolo Galeria's macaroons are dubbed the best in town, and I find that they are comparable to those sold at Canelé. If I were to choose between Obolo's and Canelé's macaroons, I would choose Canelé's as their macaroons are much more generously-filled and less expensive!

 Roast chicken spaghetti in cream sauce

 Wild mushroom aglio olio

 Cajun chicken sandwich

 Rose macaroon

 Mocha macaroon

Lemon cheesecake

Anyway, Obolo Galeria is not exactly cheap but is not expensive either if you opt for the set lunch or dinner meals, which come with a drink, side dish of soup or salad, a main meal as well as a dessert of either a macaroon or a "Petit" cake. The cake is really puny and not that great-tasting, though I'm sure their full-sized cakes are of a much better quality.

The staff also allowed us to sample some of their Chinese New Year cookies and I loved them all! Well, besides from the fact that they all contained some sort of but in it, it was perfect.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Relaxing weekend

Spent this weekends rather lazily...just the way they are meant to be. As it was raining practically the entire day on Saturday, my swimming plans were disrupted. Besides, by the time band ended, it was already about 2pm, so the family decided to go out for a lazy lunch/dinner and chill out at a nice cosy café.

We went to Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice restaurant at Novena, since it was unlikely to be crowded at that time of the day (3pm?). It's also the restaurant that was featured in The Sunday Times last week! I'm not exactly a big fan of chicken rice so I opted for the kway teow with steamed white chicken, while my family shared half a soy-sauce chicken and chicken rice.

The kway teow was so good! Then again, noodles are all the same, it's the gravy-like sauce that makes a difference. The amount of sauce was just right, smothering the noodles without drenching it. However, the white chicken was a little too tough for my liking. Thankfully, my brother said he preferred the white chicken so we had a mutual swap! The soy-sauce chicken is asdfghjkl-indescribable. The texture of the chicken is so smooth and the sauce is just kind-blowing.

We also shared a bowl of dumpling soup, which had nine humongous dumplings bursting with shrimps and pork. It was like tasting paradise.

The whole meal at the restaurant cost is only around $20! We ordered an extra bowl of chicken rice, so it's actually really inexpensive! For people looking for good food but on a budget, Wee Nam Kee is definitely the place to go to. I look forward to my next visit!

After lunch, we were all feeling a little stuffed but there was much time to kill, so we headed down to VeloCity and parked our little bums in a cosy booth at nydc (New York Dessert Café) where we shared a cake and a drink. We ordered the High and Mighty, which is a 24-layer chocolate sponge cake with a dark chocolate ganache! It was so delightfully sinful. We also ordered the Nutty Hazelnut shake (I can't really remember the elaborate name) which was ice-cream blended into a drink. It tasted really good and reminded me of Nutella, except it was almost white!

We spent close to two hours there just chilling (me doing Chinese sigh) and enjoying one another's company! I love spending family time in a restaurant, as it combines my two favourite things together: food and family! The bill came up to be $20 including GST and service charge. Rather pricey but well, it's a once-in-a-blue-moon treat. :-)

Today, (Sunday) after collecting my Edusave Scholarship, we went for gelato at Alfero Gelato at Lorong Kilat, near Carpenter and Cook! It's a new café joint and the only reason we actually found out about it's existence was because we received a coupon for a free gelato and four 1-for-1 scoops of gelato in the mail. Yes, it's really tucked away into the heart of the...alley. Nevertheless, I loved the Hazelnut gelato. The other flavours I felt were just mediocre, not something I would specially pay for. I realized that nowadays, I really love hazelnut-flavored desserts! Mmm...

We stopped by Carpenter and Cook just to have a look round. The interior design is really cool! It has a very British, old English kind of feel to it which I really love. Definitely one of the places I want to visit in the near future!

I loved this weekend and I wish all weekends could be spent like that, but I know it's terrible for my waistline so well, it's good enough to have these occasional treats every now and then. :-) Weekends should be spent unwinding oneself from the tiring week, and preparing for yet another busy, hectic week ahead.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hanging by a thread

T.G.I.F.! This week has been crazy. We've had tests, I'm not even kidding. Monday was English, Tuesday E. Math, Wednesday Physics, Thursday Biology and Friday (today) was Chemistry!!! And band was a lot more tiring because I was involved in the Sec 1 auditions, so I basically had to teach about a hundred different girls how to have the correct embouchure, sitting position, etc. and tolerate a lot of bocal-slobber, don't even get me started.

As I was saying, I'm just really glad that this really hectic week has come to an end! It wasn't all bad though. Call me a nerd, but the highlight of the week had to be getting the full marks for the A. Math test the previous week! Only Hansol and myself got full marks, yay! Haha I don't want to get complacent though, after all, the test was really easy and no I'm not just saying that because I did well!

Also, I "met" Cheryl on Thursday while on the way home and boy, do I really miss her! It was pretty rushed so yeah nothing really deep (yet) but it is always nice to see an old (best) friend whom you can relate to and everything. :'-)

Well, as I'm writing this, I have the English essay waiting to be typed, at 10.16pm when I have to get up early for another day of band tomorrow. I am so exhausted. Ten more months and it will Ten more months...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Raffles Open House 2013

Found out that my section won the most number (by percentage lol or we'd never win) of recruits for CCA Fair! Yay but I left early so I didn't get to bask in the glory though, HAHAHA.

Band was rather interesting today. We got a great morale boost from the huge intake of Sec Ones we had yesterday and spirits were high throughout the practice, even during drills when we ran around touching lamp posts, flag posts, and what-have-you poles. Tutoring was surprisingly fun as well! I like combined tutoring as compared to individual haha but well what's good for you may not be enjoyable!

Went to see D'Leedon's showflats after band with the dad and grandparents since we bought a unit there! I'm quite excited to design and decorate the new house, which will be within walking distance to the Crown Plaza/Coronation Plaza area and with shuttle bus service to Ion/town! There'll even be restaurants and retail shopping areas in the condominium #wow. I'm quite glad that we're only able to move in come 2015 because that'll give me the time to really make use of my current home, which is lovely in all aspects (hint FOOD).

After that, we went to the Open House event at Raffles Junior College, or Raffles Institution as it is now called. I am truly impressed by what I saw that. No, not just the buildings and facilities, but also the students! They were really friendly and informative and weren't immature, unlike most people in my current...environment. I guess you can say that that comes with age, but really, it's only about a year or two's difference! After ~soaking in~ the Rafflesian spirit, I must say that the only thing in my way will be the DSA audition as I can never get 3 points for O-Levels.

I had no time to eat the entire day and so after swimming at the club, I weighed myself and I hit a new low of 50kg!!! That kind of made my day but tempted me to eat a lot more during dinner hahahaha. We had dinner and my grandparent's place; home cooked food!!! My grandmother is an amazing cook and she cooked this special kind of fried rice (totally unlike the tze-char kind) with frog legs, abalone, vegetable with fish and prawns as well as a chicken soup! I haven't eaten home cooked food in eons so this was definitely a feast for my taste buds! Love love love.

I'm really starting to feel the O-Level stress, as well as for the SYF competition coming up. That'll be essential in deciding if I will ever become a Rafflesian. My parents and uncle were all from Raffles so well, all I can say is that the expectation may be subtle, but it's still there.

Friday, January 11, 2013

CCA Fair 2013

Today was so tiring but so fulfilling! Yes, it's that time of the year again. The day when Secondary 1s will feel like the most important and treasured people on Earth!

This year, we were only going to perform one song once, in the hall along with all the other performing arts groups and Rhythmic Gymnastics girls. I think it's a good strategy because during previous CCA Fairs, by the time the band got to perform a second time at the parade square, the Sec 1s were being pulled away towards the other booths around the canteen and by setting up chairs/packing up stands etc. before and after the mini performance, we wasted a lot of time and hence were unable to recruit as many girls as we would have liked to have.

This year, with the extra time and astounding performance (if I may say so myself) in the hall under the baton of Mr Alvin (whose highlighted hair caused some excitement among some Sec 1s haha), and the percussion (hint, drum set) instruments being played in the canteen, we recruited a grand total of 219 recruits!!! That is more than double of our targeted 80, and waaaaaaaaay above our previous year's mark of 40! As I approached juniors and persuaded them to join our St. Marg's Band family, one of them told me, "Band has so many sign-ups already, it's not fair to the other CCAs so I shouldn't join band!!!" W-o-w. This would be the first time I heard something like that. Anyway, other than the obvious fact that we needed Sec 1s to replace the many graduating seniors this year, I think most of our band members were motivated to lure the juniors because of a competition we were having. The section with the highest percentage of recruits would win a hamper! I tried to bring in many Sec 1s but no one could beat Masturah, lol. She literally grabbed 'em by the bunch and brought them to the sign-up booth! However, even though I don't think my section is going to win the hamper, I really had fun during CCA Fair!

As with all my past experiences with CCA Fair, there was a teensy bit of drama between CCAs. 

Some time towards the later half of the Fair, one of the CCA leaders from another CCA came over to our band booth and shouted "Wijono! Wijono! Na-ta-ly Wi-jo-no! Your people are stealing my Sec 1s! You all are cheating!!!" or words to that effect.

I remember being right in front (or under, since she's really tall) of her and seeing her red lips smack open and shut as she hurled her accusations with jealousy painted all over her face. Seriously? You are already a senior and you still act like this? Have you no self-control? Also, all's fair in CCA Fair, that, you of all people, should know by now. I'm not going to explicitly say anything but this CCA has quite a bit of history with the band... At least our band members do not badmouth other CCAs, that we all know for sure. We're the better men (or girls, women, whatever you wish to be called).

Despite all the tiredness and really bad traffic jam I got stuck in on the journey home, this has got to be the best CCA Fair I've had! And it'll be my last too...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

O-Lvl results 2012

So, today our seniors received their O-Level results. The graduating classes were allowed to be present in the hall to watch the whole proceedings of the distribution of the results and to be honest, I was rather disappointed. Even with all the parents in the hall, the air-conditioning was not switched on so the whole hall was rather stuffy and just...ugh. Secondly, the whole thing took about twelve minutes! I was expecting an encouraging speech or something along those lines by the principal. From what I've heard from my friends in other schools, the collection of results was extremely intense and nerve-wrecking, even the present seniors felt the stress! This is the exact opposite of what happened in St. Marg's.

I suppose the whole cohort didn't perform as well, as most of the seniors were either crying or looking extremely disappointed. That really motivated me to work hard to do really well for my O-Levels! Motivation by fear is as powerful as any other form of motivation!

Here's to straight 'A1's!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

First week of 2013!

Let the start of the hectic school year commence.

//Happy birthday Ants!

Friday, January 04, 2013

AKLC Camp 2013

Today was the closing ceremony (can we even call it that?) for the Adam Khoo camp and it was rather emotional for some of us. We were invited to give a short speech up on stage, in front of the parents and the Sec 4E/5Ns to declare our goals to everyone so we will be held accountable for them, as well as to share a little on what we have learnt from the three day course.

I was planning to go up on stage but I didn't really want to be the first because well, I was scared. However, nobody dares to go up first so when the opportunity comes...grab it! Haha! After a few people went up, lots of people wanted to share on stage but were unable to. ;-)

Anyway, I was kind of nervous and basically, I made it public that I wanted to be among the top three scorers in the O-Level examinations. To be the top will be my real goal but for the sake of not being too thick-skinned...hehe. I also took the opportunity to thank my teachers and parents for their constant support and guidance throughout the years! I have no regrets going up on stage to share. Perhaps the only regret would be not sharing about more things, haha!

What I really wanted to post was a few things that my friends had said to me that really encouraged and motivated me. Clare said two things that really left a mark on me. 1. "You're (pretty) photogenic!" and 2. "I can definitely see you as the too student." For number one, coming from Clare, it's really quite huge! Hahaha ok maybe not huuuge and it's not as if I have self-image issues but it's just nice to be complimented like that, to know that other people other than yourself can see your true ~beauty~. ;-) HAHAHA do I make sense or do I just sound whacked. Also, Gaby also said that she believed I could definitely be in the too three, haha and she is quite a good student as well so whoopee! Not that I need confirmation from others or anything, but it's just nice to be reminded that you have people who believe in you. To be honest, I was kind of on the edge of doubting my own abilities after not touching my books for quite some time, so these words of faith really works wonders. Lastly, Naasyidah, Jamie and Joanne also came up to me to tell me things like "I'm proud of you" and "Good job" and things like that. These simple words of encouragement really touched me, so I just want to thank all of my wonderful friends here!!! :'-)

During the training session, we were asked to map out our "life plan", which is to say our life after secondary school. I kind of found out quite a lot about my chosen career (law) path and got a clearer idea of how my life would pan out (ideally haha). I'm quite motivated now to do well, and I know that this motivation is here to stay!!! OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!

On a fattier (heavier?) note, went out for ice cream (apparently sugar-free) at SugaLite with Genevieve and the family after stuffin myself silly with the tuna croissants the school had ordered as refreshments for the parents! The tuna croissants were so good, and there were so many left over!!! Being the weakling I was, I succumbed to the temptation...sigh. Mrs Yip even offered me a takeaway box to bring some home! Haha I love love love food but...height and weight is going to be taken soon so it's probably not the best idea to go on a binging spree right now huh.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Day 2 of the school year

Day Two of school and so far, so good! Well technically, we're still in Week 0 so... We got the (compulsory) student handbooks today and it's so cute! Almost like something you would get from the likes of Kikki.K or Artbox! Good job St. Marg's, a year when your handbook is finally decent enough not to be chucked into the deep abyss of unwanted junk.

Last day of camp is tomorrow and I can't wait for proper lessons to start! It'll be fun to continue on my slave-driver mode and all but I'm afraid others will catch up with me, haha. It's okay, because I'M A GENIUS AND I WILL DO WELL!!! Psyching myself to be confident now! Hahahaha ok time to do some math!

I have decided to totally give up my social life this year. Yes, it may not be the healthiest way to do things but I guess it works for me. Of course, that isn't to say that I'll be a total loner girl and stone by myself everyday but more of not going out with friends WHILE MAINTAINING THAT FRIENDSHIP. Good idea? No? Only time will tell!

P.s. Hi Sin Ching!!! ^_^

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

First day of school blues

I survived the first day of school!!! We had Adam Khoo camp, which was pretty fun. I went for their P6 Study Skills camp in P6 (well, duh) and what they did today was a little of a re-cap of what they did then. I love love love Adam Khoo camps and stuff because the trainers are so funny and effective at the same time! I remember I enjoyed the camp in P6 so much I signed up for the math tuition at Adam Khoo Learning Center and scored my A*s while having two hours of laughter every week. ^_^ Good times, good times.

I'm pretty psyched about starting the school term! Mrs Rethinam is our co-form teacher, thank God for that! Ms Chang said she would do the seating arrangements...I really don't want to sit at the back! Sometimes being tall has its disadvantages as well. :'-( I went to school early to get seats in the second row beside Hansol and now...sigh pie life just isn't fair.

As I was saying...STUDY MODE TOTEZ ON

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Hello, 2013

Another year has gone by just like that, in a blink (or two) of the eye. 2012 has been a rather turbulent year, a really different year for me. It's the year I finally got consistent good results, the year I started being super anti-social (at the sacrifice of aforementioned results) and many other things! For the sake of it, I shall write down the highlights of 2012! It's always fun hehehe.

1. MTDC Graduation Concert (14/01)
I really missed MTDC the few months after we graduated. It was because of MTDC that I got to really bond with Sang Ah, Naasyidah and Ze Hui! If not for them, band and school just wouldn't be the same! Also, I got to meet people like Yan Shen and Wai Siang and (ahem) Aloysius who are really great friends and fun to play with! Sadly, I kind of grew apart from them after MTDC. There was a period of time when Wai Siang and I were relatively close (not going to be thick-skinned here ahahah) and yeah I really miss all of them, even now! It's also quite different between the four SMSS girls without MTDC because's just different so boo hoo. :'-( My MTDC section, even though we aren't that bonded as a section, I became really comfortable with Sin Ching! Haha like I'm really sure if we could have had more time together, we would go really crazy and hence our section will be super cray cray! Hahaha aw man just thinking about the camps before concerts and stuff really makes me tear up. MTDC definitely had a big part to play in my Sec 2/3 years (mostly Sec 2 but oh well)

2. Polka! VI (30/03)
The most memorable thing about Polka! strangely enough, wasn't really about the band and all that. I was more excited about my MTDC friends coming to watch us hahaha! I was so touched when they shouted my name lol touched and proud :'-) HAHAHA ok being reaaaally thick-skinned here but honestly, who wouldn't be? I just luv them all so much ^_^

3. Blessed to be a Blessing (14/07)
I hated the rehearsals and practices and honestly, some times I even wished that we wouldn't have to perform for the musical but it was through these (ahem) "common practices" (lol I really need to start reading up on SS) that BBB was formed!!! Haha ok maybe formed isn't the right word, but you get my drift! I got to know Sandra and Celestine better after the musical and yay for that, because if not we wouldn't have had all the fun/crazy outings we had!!! I also got to know my juniors more after the endless lunches and dinners together! Also, after the musical, after hearing praises and huge compliments about the production, I felt this swelling sense of pride in me. I guess it just feels good to be a part of something successful!

4. Mission trip to 雲華村
What can I say...............this has got to be the best thing that's happened to me this year!!! Making friends with the Thai kids, the mission groupies, especially the G4God girls as well as improving family relationships and most importantly, my relationship with God! I love love LOVED the 8 days or so spent there and it is something I would never forget for a long while or even, if I dare say, for the rest of my life. Meeting the kids and villagers there made me humble myself and really go back to the very essence of what makes us human: the ability to love and care for one another. Also, seeing the other mission groupies living a life pleasing to God has motivated me to become a better Christian and to start living a God-centered life! I would definitely want to go back to the village next year, and in the meantime, I will be praying for the villagers there.

So I guess that sums up the highlights of my year! I know, I am such a bore. Well, that's the price to pay for good results I guess. Honestly, I don't know if it's worth it.

This coming year, 2013, I have made certain resolutions and I really hope I will stick to them! I shan't reveal it here but maybe at the end of the year I'll write then down and share if I have achieved them! Okay this is terrible sentence structure but hey, school is starting soon!

My 'O' Levels are this year and I'm really afraid. Not just afraid, but petrified. I really need to rely on God and I believe we can make it through together!!!!!!!!!!! Hehehe

School starts tomorrow...I can't wait to sink back into the routine of school>homework>study>dinner>study>sleep. It's actually quite comforting to be able to conform to such a routine, to have order in my life. :-)

Here's to a great 2013!