Saturday, September 13, 2014

What I did this September holiday

Hello, friends!
This September holiday, my productivity rate is close to non-existent. From an academic point of view, that is. I thought it would be fun to document how I spent this holiday! Though I am definitely more than unsatisfied, disappointed and disgusted at my lack of drive and motivation to hit the books and start mugging (even with Promos looming in the near future), I feel that this holiday has been rather fruitful, in terms of me being able to relax and enjoy myself! :-) Some may say I'm deluded, but I am convinced that this is the proper way to spend such a precious one week break.

So, I started the holiday planning to use the kitchen more. That I did! I tried my best to whip up a scrumptious breakfasts whenever I could (read: whenever I didn't have to go to school)

I also spent the large part of the holiday practicing for my piano exam which was on Friday. I like to think that I studied less so I could practice more, but the truth is often so far from reality, isn't it? :-( Nonetheless, I think I practiced more than I ever had for my previous piano exams because a) I really enjoyed the pieces I was playing this time round, and b) I wanted to do my very very very bestest because this is probably the last ABRSM piano exam I'd take. Nope, I don't think I would want to pursue a diploma in piano, so...but maybe I'll change my mind in the future, haha!

Well, that's enough blabbering from me; here goes visual vomit.


Sunday

After church, I spent most of the afternoon trying to study, before going out to play badminton with my mother and brother! I think we have all improved heaps since the last time we played (which was maybe 2 years ago...???). Badminton is really fun!!! :-)




Made a really delicious peanut butter tart with an Oreo cookie base! I added chocolate sauce and Nutella on top (because I ran out of chocolate sauce lol), as I was trying to imitate the amazing Reese's peanut butter chocolate cups! I think it turned out quite nicely, just that it was a tad bit too sweet and too peanut butter-y. My family aren't big fans of peanut butter (so I rly don't know why I thought this would be a good idea, but still) so it's taking me quite some time to finish this...as I type, there's still quite a substantial portion left in the freezer haha. :-(


Monday


I woke up early to experiment with grilled cheese sandwiches (recipe here) for the brother and I. It was fantastic, and encouraged me to continue (attempting to) being a domestic goddess (though I don't really deserve the title, much of what I made are actually easy peasy)



Cooked instant noodles for lunch for the brother and I again. I tried this new white curry noodles by some Malaysian brand, and it was not too bad! I used only a third of the chilli paste provided because I thought I wouldn't be able to handle that much spiciness. I was wrong. My soup turned out hardly spicy at all. :-(

I had piano lesson at 3pm, and it extended by about half an hour or so.

In the afternoon, I wanted to go for a run but ended up taking a 2 hour nap instead...LOL.



Dad cooked dinner tonight! This is the pan-fried cheese tofu which was ridiculously great. I mean, look at that charred top!!! There were other dishes too, of course, but this was the most aesthetically-pleasing out of the lot hehe.


After studying a bit at night, I found myself reading up about the Jack the Ripper investigations, after reading online that this guy, I can't remember his name, found very suggestive evidence that could pin-point who Jack the Ripper was! I was really intrigued by this piece of news because I was once obsessed (okay, it wasn't so bad) with Jack the Ripper and his monstrous acts. Anyway, armchair sleuthing got me sleeping at 3am HAHA.


Tuesday

I didn't manage to cook breakfast today, because I had to go to school for Econs make-up lesson. I arrived in school an hour early to go for a run around the school track, making up for Monday's laziness. My stamina wasn't very good and I died somewhere after the fifth or sixth round. :-( But the timing was just right, because by the time I changed and freshened up, I was just on time for class!

Econs was meh, I learnt stuff but I'm sure that time could have been put to much better use (if I did have the motivation and discipline, that is).

My Project Work (PW) group had a tanking session after Econs, where we stayed at the Raja block for close to 4 hours editing our Written Report (WR)! We skipped lunch and used food as motivation to keep us on task and to finish up our WR quickly hehe.

Jaben came over to RI in the afternoon because he had OBOG rehearsal at 2pm. I got him to buy me Gong Cha hahaha so here is a big THANK YOU to Jaben for the afternoon heat respite. It was quite funny, actually. I told him to tail-gate anyone who was walking into RI via the Marymount gate but he refused, choosing to loiter around the traffic light pretending to want to cross while waiting for me to come over to open the gate for him. Extremely inefficient but kinda funny (at that time) ((because he really looked like a lost little kid hahaha)).

After PW tanking session ended, I stayed with Kim and her friend to do some chemistry but to say it was unproductive is an understatement. Soon, Jaben finished rehearsal and we lepak-ed for a bit at Raja talking about really anything and everything under the sun. It was quite fun I suppose, and a (not really) much-needed break. Pretty soon, it was 6.30-ish pm and we left haha wow time passed really quickly!


Because we didn't get to take a photo here is a very nicely put-together collage (of sorts)



Met my family for a nice dinner at Pasta Fresca in the evening! My mother wasn't feeling very well so my dad thought treating her to pasta (her all-time favourite food) would perk her up. :-) thanks to that, the whole family got to enjoy good Italian food that night!

There was this family sitting near us who were celebrating their domestic helper's birthday. They were a Caucasian family and the mother got really really drunk, she started swearing at her children?! (The little kids were about ten, twelve years old?) What surprised me was that when her kids swore back at her, she just brushed it aside and laughed. Haha I guess it's just the culture difference but I was quite...taken aback I suppose.


Wednesday

I got to experiment with breakfasts again! This time, I made ham-and-egg cups, egg-in-a-basket and an open-faced grilled ham and cheese sandwich! They all turned out wonderful as well.




I had piano lessons for close to 3 hours, so that essentially took up my whole morning.
(who has time for studying?!)


My dad took the brother and I out for lunch at a coffee shop in Bukit Batok we used to frequent when we lived there. The best part was going to this old-school mama shop to stock up on cheap snacks!!!



Made banana ice-cream, which my dear friends insist on calling blended banana. I used three small bananas for this, and it turned out quite good! I hate making banana ice-cream because it is such a chore to get all the banana coins blended in the food processor. Some parts will be blended while others remain coin-y because the blades can't reach all the bananas, and then the blended ones will start melting and ??? So as you can tell, it is a great hassle but I decided to make it anyway. Well, it tasted great and was kind of healthy too.


See how disgusting it looked at first??? I had to put it back in the freezer after blending because it was just a semi-solid mess.



Dad cooked dinner again tonight! Lately, he's been hung up on the whole healthy-eating, less salt, less oil etc. concept haha. It was a delicious dinner nonetheless. I really miss having home cooked food! :-)


Thursday


Our class decided to prepare breakfast for out biology teacher, who has really done a lot for us. From buying us all encouragement packs to tirelessly holding consultations and extra lessons for us, she really did/does a lot for us. She actually offered to buy us all McDonald's breakfast before we had our extra lesson that morning, but we all didn't think it was right to make her spend so much money on us, so we decided to make her breakfast instead! :-D

This is supposed to look like a (plant) cell.
pancakes: nucleus
butter: nucleolus
exquisitely-crafted sausages: mitochondria
grapes: lysosomes
granola: ribosomes
bananas: Golgi apparatus
chUnkY peanut butter: endoplasmic reticulum
I hope it tasted good as well, haha! Ms Hor also bought us boxes and boxes of little buns, which were really delicious! There were so many, the buns were practically my breakfast and lunch that day.


The bio lesson was all right, semi-productive haha, because most of what we did was recapping certain topics.

After bio, I rushed off to make in home in time for more piano practice haha (piano was practically my life). When I boarded the bus 157, the smell of freshly executed fart smacked me right in the nose. It was disgusting and I was somewhat amused at the stench of such a fart, and at such a time, ha! A middle-aged lady was fanning the air around her vehemently hehe it was so bad.


The (inspired) Ted Baker iPhone 5/S cases I ordered on Carousell finally arrived in the mail! The quality is not too bad, and the feel of the cover is really lovely. A great buy, but that means I'll be missing out on the iPhone 6...but still, no regrets! ^_^


That night was hardcore-piano night because my exam was first thing the following morning. I got quite a few texts of encouragement and prayers from my friends so that made me feel a bit more secure I guess. It's strange, but the power of prayer really does give you confidence and, most importantly, faith.



Friday

D-Day!!! I woke up bright and early to squeeze in a final piano practice before setting off for the exam centre in Jurong East. My brother's exam was just before mine, and he was the first for the day.

We arrived quite early, before the examiner even arrived. At the waiting area, Jupiter was being played in the background haha it was oddly calming. :o) Since we were early, we got to see the examiner walk into the centre, with a spring in his step. He was a true blue British man, fitting all the stereotypes of the Brits. He held a walking stick in one hand, and had a fine hat on his head and greeted us all a very jolly Good Morning! It was a great sign, because friendly examiners have a way to make you feel at ease, and really helps you to enjoy the exam!

Which I did. :-) I wouldn't say my scales/pieces/sight-reading (lol, that was a colossal mess)/aural were that great. In fact, I probably have performed better at home practicing. I think it's the nerves. During my first piece, I could feel my entire body trembling, not a good thing if you have to play running scales up and down and up and down hahaha. I was very scared I would lose control of my fingers and have a massive breakdown. Thank God it didn't happen, and I somehow made my way through all three pieces. :-) ANYWAY, to cut the really long story short, I had a great time in the exam, and learnt quite a few things too! Although I don't expect the results to be that great, I'm thankful that I got to have fun in my last-ever piano exam - it does end my whole ABRSM piano journey on a positive note. :-)



After the exam, my parents took my grandmother out with us for lunch at Jai Thai! I finally satisfied my Red Ruby craving. The green curry was good too, but a bit jelat.

I went back to school for our final PW consult and it went quite smoothly! Our project seems to be in good shape, and it's just left with the small little details to touch up before we are all ready for our final draft submission. Looking back, I wonder how we even got this far. The whole ~PW~ thing seemed so daunting at first, but now that (most of) it is behind us, it wasn't all that stressful and scary as I have previously made it out to be! Even Mr. Chris admitted that "I might have scared you guys a bit at the beginning" haha.



I went to Raja block to get a seat first while waiting for Regi to reach Marymount. Guess who I met there? ;-) Hehe even Jon (Pong) ((the dude in black)) was #khiamming all the way hahaha



We studied for a while, until 5pm before heading out for dinner! I was really excited as I've been wanting to visit GRUB for a long time now, and never really got to it until today!

(studying was actually pretty productive hehe)



We felt so judged that we couldn't do a proper heart shape HAHA so my apologies if this looks extremely odd and awkward.



We had a great dinner!



After dinner, we walked aimlessly around Bishan Park and saw this beautiful, royal blue parrot flying around, being chased by this cute little puppy! We weren't sure if the bird was wild or belonged to someone there (probably the latter), because no one seemed to take ownership of the bird/the bird didn't circle around any specific person in the vicinity. Then, we decided to walk to Anderson JC because it was "quite near" and also, why not? Walking is great for digestion, and we both were feeling sickly full then.

Turns out, it was an hour's walk haha, but I had loads of fun catching up with her and also reminiscing our ~good old days~ when we were both embarrassing and nooby. :'-)
(photo above is related to an inside joke of ours haha but still please appreciate it)


Saturday



Woke up bright and early lol jk I woke up at 8.30am, but went to Botanic Gardens for morning exercise before having brunch at Food For Thought! My dad and brother played football while my mom walked around the gardens, and I ran...anywhere haha. I just took whichever path I felt like, and it felt really good. I ended up somewhere near the opposite end of Botanics, from where I started haha! It took a bit of ~navigating skillZ~ to find my way back to the start point but I did it!!! wew hahaha not bad for someone who once took 15 minutes to walk to a place which was only a minute away, if walked by the right route.

Anyhoo, my calves were hurting quite a lot after the 3km mark, so I decided to stop then and just walk to *~*smell the roses*~* haha! Which is also where I discovered this beautiful (but most probably man-made) waterfall!




Food For Thought changed its menu, and this is what the current Dark Chocolate with Mixed Berries pancakes look like. I loved the cream (dang) and the berries and the pancakes, which is basically everything lah hahaha :-) It was a great breakfast to fuel me up for the day ahead!!! (which was mostly spent writing up this post HAHAHA oh well)


Spent the afternoon (trying to) study before heading out to Orchard Central for dinner at Tony Roma's! The queue was insane, we had to wait around half an hour before getting seated. :-( But the food was good. Mashed potatoes with bacon bits and cheddar cheese MMMMM

We went for dessert at Orchard Gateway's Alfero, even though there's an Alfero right opposite where I stay #logic. The avocado gelato was sublime, so creamy yet light! A very welcome contradiction. The waffles were amazing too. Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, it could be eaten on its own and still be a great post-meal tummy-pleaser.




That night, I finally finished reading this book I picked up from the library a week ago. It's the first non-chick flick/thriller kind of book that I've read in a long while, and I felt an immense sense of satisfaction after finishing it. I would never have picked it up, if not for the recommendation by a few well-read, cultured friends of mine haha. They were raving about how great Murakami's books were, so I decided to give it a go! I'm not very good at choosing books. Most of the time, I find a book I like by pure coincidence and proceed to read every single novel by the same author. After that, I don't really know what to read anymore, so I don't. Haha. It's great to have book-loving friends in this sense then, so I can never run out of books to read :-D (also become Su Ann insists that I am an uncultured sod, which I cannot fully disagree with sigh)




Sunday

STAY TUNED!!! I will edit this by the end of the week (tomorrow) to finish it

Whoops, sorry I kind of forgot what I did on Sunday, but I'm pretty sure it involved rushing to finish last-minute homework haha.

I guess this sums up my September holiday! Not the most productive nor memorable holidays, but still a very welcome break from the hectic school life :-)

P.s. I actually sort of realised "school life" is a noun phrase with semantically similar lexis because for most of us, school is life...which is incredibly sad if you think about it.

PEAZE OUT

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