#GlennChelseaWedding: Wedding of the year

This is one of the happiest things that happened to me this year, or maybe even lifetime, to attend Glenn and Chelsea’s wedding in Jakarta.

Both Glenn and Chelsea are well known celebrity couple in Indonesia. They dated for 8 years before tying the knot.

I’ve known Glenn and his family for 17 years. Glenn was still a primary school student when I knew him. I have always been close with his family in one way or another, though there was a period that we lost touch. His family used to be based in Singapore, but they have gone back to Jakarta, while Glenn’s sister is now in Australia!

One day by chance I caught up with him and his mum (Auntie Linda) again. I was so happy for this reunion, we had so much to catch up. Since then, I have flown to Jakarta a couple of times to spend time with Auntie Linda. I’ve grown very close to Auntie Linda, so much so that she’s my Indonesian mama.

Earlier this year, Auntie Linda told me Glenn was (finally) getting married. I was shameless and asked for an invite! Everyday I was counting down to 1 Oct. His church wedding was on 1 Oct, and wedding reception on 3 Oct. However due to work commitments, I had to give the church wedding a miss.

Wedding invite!

Wedding invite!

Wedding invite

I flew in to Jakarta on 1 Oct evening, straight from the office to the airport. On the way from office to the airport, I was scrolling through Instagram for their wedding photos. There were so many of them with the hashtag #GlennChelseaWedding. I had to control my tears in the cab, I was so happy for them.

Auntie Linda was so sweet, she arranged for a makeup artist to come to the hotel and help me do my makeup and hair for the wedding reception. I stayed at Hotel Century this time because it was near the wedding hotel. Room rates in Mulia were too crazy for me to afford.

Ibu Mavis!

Ibu Mavis! Dressed in my favourite Ong Shunmugam cheongsam

I was told by the makeup artist Alvania that Hotel Mulia has a huge ballroom, and the makeup can’t be too light, or I will look too pale. It’s definitely the heaviest makeup I’ve had in my life, with 2 layers of fake eyelashes!

The whole wedding was carefully planned. Everything was so fairytale like! No wonder Singapore newspapers lollipop picked up Glenn’s wedding to compare it with AngelaBaby’s one! White roses, sparkling crystals, unicorns, swans soft music, you can feel the love and romance everywhere!

Large TV screen showing their prewedding photos

Large TV screen showing their prewedding photos

Glenn Alinskie

A selfie against the romantic backdrop

A selfie against the romantic backdrop

Inside the ballroom, everything else was spectacular too. It was my first time attending a wedding in Indonesia, and I’ve learnt that it’s a buffet standing fashion. I quite like it actually, you are free to go around the place, and pick the food you like! Food stations are set up everywhere, each time you meet someone and you like to mingle, you
can just stop anywhere, grab a bite, and chat.

Inside the ballroomHot food stationFoodCakes

The tradition in Indonesia is the couple and their family will be standing on stage to receive well wishes from the guests. I queued for more than an hour to go up! Chelsea is soooo pretty!

A wefie with the couple!

A wefie with the couple!

It was a busy night for the couple and their family, however they provided good entertainment for the guests. The couple had their march in, first dance, video recap of their church wedding. Besides having a good band whom sang whole night, Chelsea sang that night too! Too bad it was in Bahasa Indonesian. I didn’t understand a single word of it.

Awesome band who sang whole night!

Awesome band who sang whole night!

Although I was in a foreign land, but I felt very much at ease. And I was really glad to find some time to catch up with the Alinskie family. I entered the family area to catch up with Quenby (Glenn’s elder sister).

Quenby and I

Quenby and I

A group shot with Quenby's family and relatives. And the little boy is Quenby's son!

A group shot with Quenby’s family and relatives. And the little boy is Quenby’s son!

Auntie Linda and I

Auntie Linda and I

Before I left, I managed to grab a photo with Auntie Linda. Although we didn’t get to talk much that night, but I am really thankful to Auntie Linda for inviting me. It’s such an honour to share their joy. Weeks later, Auntie Linda messaged me to apologise that she couldn’t talk much to me at the wedding because there were so much going on. She really didn’t have to. I am not sure when I will meet her again, but I know we always have each other in mind. Thank you for your love, my Indonesian mama.

Neurogenesis: Grow new brain cells

Just a couple of days ago, I came across this very interesting Ted talk:

Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret talked about how we can actually grow new brain cells. If we can grow new brain cells faster then the rate we use them up, it will improve our quality of life. It’s not just about becoming smarter, and cope better with greater challenges, it also makes us happier.

We are always under so much stress, that we produce so much cortisol. This is the hormone produced whenever we face stress, and they cause our fight or flight reaction. Overtime, these cortisol will damage the hippocamus part of our brain. I am not a doctor, neither am I a nurse. I just have a keen interest in finding out how our brain works, therefore I’ve read up quite abit on this area.

A little stress is good, but we feel overwhelmed when it gets too much. In worst case scenarios, we get eaten up by the stressful situation. We feel stress, and we produce cortisol. We try to fight and make the situation better, and if we failed, we produce even more cortisol. More and more cortisol gets produced, until they flood our brain. However deep down in our hearts we want to make ourselves feel better, and think of a solution to fix the problem, or even just to move on. When we see someone in distress, we will always tell the person to take it easy, go do something that makes them happy. I guess the whole reason to doing something that makes them happy is not just about producing endorphins. But it helps them to generate new brain cells, and they will help to combat the negative processes in our brains.

Sandrine has shared some very actionable advice on how we can improve on the rate of neurogenesis. If you only have time to watch 1 video this weekend, I strongly recommend that you watch this one.

 

Latest internet food sensation- Nissin chawanmushi

If you are a foodie and constantly looking for great food ideas on social media, I am pretty sure this would have shown up on your newsfeed:

The internet’s latest culinary masterpiece: Cup Noodle Steamed Egg【Taste Test】

Image credit: Rocket News24

Image credit: Rocket News24

I saw this on my newfeed a couple of days ago, and I’ve got friends sharing the link with me as well.

I love cooking, and I love Japanese food and culture! Of course I’ve tried making my own chawanmushi.

Mavis' homemade authentic chawanmushi

Mavis’ homemade authentic chawanmushi

I try to keep my cooking as authentic as possible. I will do everything from scratch, and take no shortcuts. For my version of chawanmushi, I made my own dashi, using dried kelps and bonito. As you can tell from the picture, my chawanmushi was loaded with lots of ingredients, Japanese fish cakes, thinly sliced Japanese mushrooms etc. And to get a nice smooth texture on the top, it takes patience to filter the egg mixture carefully so that you don’t get any trapped air bubbles.

It can take me half a day to cook chawanmushi. The actual cooking time is not long, but there is a lot of waiting time required. Such as to cook the dashi, wait for it cool down, soak the mushrooms in hot water etc. The water used to soak the mushrooms will also be used to cook your chawanmushi, it gives that extra flavour.

As you can tell, it is a lot of effort and time to do a good chawanmushi. So when I saw the article that you can easily make a steamed egg out of leftover Nissin cup noodles soup, I was VERY skeptical. However, it just showed up on my feed OVER  AND OVER AGAIN. And my friends spared no mercy in sending me the link.

I finally decided I shall give this a try, since I do eat quite a fair bit of Nissin cup noodles.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

I felt hungry last night, so I decided to have supper- Chilli Crab Nissin cup noodles. Rocket News24 tried the recipe with Tomyum soup, I shall try with my favourite Chilli Crab flavour.

Chilli Crab Nissin Cup Noodles

My supper- Chilli crab Nissin cup noodles

Added hot water, waiting for the noodles to cook

Added hot water, waiting for the noodles to cook

I was watching my favourite TV series, Mad Men as I ate my supper. Yes, cup noodles and Don Draper. So romantic! <3

Left some soup for my experiment

Left some soup for my experiment

I usually would add an egg into my noodles and eat it together. But for last night, I decided to keep the egg for the experiment. And I had to control myself from finishing the soup.

So I poured the leftover soup into my glass, and added in 2 eggs. (I had quite alot of soup leftover.) Then I sent the glass into the microwave oven. I set the oven temperature to Medium High, and time at 3 mins.

Chilli crab chawanmushi cooking in the oven

Chilli crab chawanmushi cooking in the oven

According to Rocket News24, the time was set at 2 mins 40 secs, and the steamed egg turned out well. The temperature of each and every oven differs, cooking time will differ as well. I was afraid my glass will break under too high temperature, so I set it to Medium High. On the other hand, I was afraid my eggs will undercook, so I set it to 3 mins. However I think 3 mins could be too much time, the top of the eggs turned out rather browned.

Top view of the steamed eggs

Top view of the steamed eggs

You can see there are 2 distinct colours, brown on the top, and cream on the bottom.

Chilli crab flavour chawanmushiCloseup of chawanmushi

If I were to try it again, I might set my oven temperature to medium, and then cook at 3mins, and increase the time accordingly if the bottom of the eggs are not yet cooked. Alternatively, you can add a piece of aluminium foil on the top of the egg halfway through cooking, to prevent the top from browning. I’ve heard too many stories of microwave exploding because of aluminium foil, so I dare not try. I rather play with the cooking times.

So how does it taste like? No surprises. Chilli crab steamed eggs lor.

Close up of the steamed eggs

Close up of the steamed eggs

For someone who loves eggs, Nissin cup noodles, I do quite like this recipe. It’s a quick and easy fix for late night suppers. Minimal washing, and I can accept that. If you love eggs like me, this is one easy recipe you can try. However, this recipe is no way comparable to the REAL chawanmushi. So please lower your expectations!

I have some Indomie instant noodles which I brought back from my last trip to Jakarta. I will try this steam eggs recipe with my Indomie the next time!

Disclaimer: This post is inspired by Rocket News24. All pictures are taken by me unless otherwise stated.

 

Server Migration completed!

I am most grateful to my friend Peiyong for helping me migrate the server! (And also to allow me have my blog on his server! :p)

All the while I have been wanting to do more experiments with my blog. However due to WordPress limitations, there were much restrictions. But with this server migration, I can do much more things now! Previously I tried so hard to implement GA code on my blog, but I couldn’t do it. Unless I upgrade my WordPress account, which I refused paying for.

The downside of not using WordPress as a server anymore is you lose some of the features, such as social sharing functions etc. If you want it back on your blog, you got to insert them manually. For non techies, this can be quite a challenge. (I feel damn paiseh to ask my friend to help me on such small things, he’s done alot for me. I promise, I will bake him cakes and breads as rewards.)

Just want to say it again, THANK YOU Peiyong! 🙂

I GIVE UP!

It takes a lot of courage to say “I GIVE UP!” Sometimes it will mean that you have to open yourself up to many uncertainties. It is terrifying to think of the unknown. Have you ever come to the point of being so sick and tired of something, and you just want to give up? However you can’t bring yourself to make that decision, because you are not sure of what will happen, and you force yourself to press on? I think this is something that all of us can relate to.

As the saying goes, when one door closes, the other doors will open. When your hands are full, you cannot hold on to new things that you want. You got to let go of what’s in your hands, before you can pick other things up.

If you are feeling lost and fed up, maybe it’s time to say “I Give Up!” Give yourself a break, you will find it easier to take a step back and think through what is it that you want.

To thrive in life, you need to know when to let go of certain things. It’s tough and painful, but it’s a necessary evil. Once you let go, you can do the things YOU WANT.

Mark Twain

New blog layout!

I am guilty of leaving my blog to collect dust the past few months. I’ve been using lack of time as an excuse, but I know it’s a lousy reason.

Although there was a lack of updates, but I’ve never forgotten about my blog. I’ve not forgotten my objective of having a blog again. I admit, it is a case of poor time management. I shifted my focus to other things, and sacrificed writing my blog. In the past 7 months, I have done many interesting things, so many great stories to tell.

I like to believe my stories are evergreen, and there is never too late a time to tell them. Just to share them briefly here, I’ve signed up for baking classes, did a couple of staycations, attended my godbrother’s celebrity wedding etc.

I got inspired by my friend Pei Yong to pay more attention to my blog again. Pei Yong is a geeky programmer, who is so passionate about his ROBOTS! He talks non-stop about his robots. No, it’s not your transformers robots. I am talking about your java script, html codes here. Pei Yong is the proud owner of Dimplify, a social news site providing you with the most quirky news you can find online. If you think you have interesting stories to share, feel free to collaborate with him.

Enough of advertisement airtime for Pei Yong. Back to my own story. To mark a new start, I thought a new layout would be good. My readers would have been sick of seeing the previous layout for the past 9 months. It’s not been easy to look for a template that fits my style, yet looks attractive. I prefer simple designs, with little clutter. I can’t do photoshop for nuts, which is a great pity, because I do have many photographs that can be used for good designs. These are my personal photographs which I have taken over the years, and the collection is increasing. If you think you can help me do up a bespoke blog design, please let me know. I don’t have money to pay you, but I can bake cakes and bread as rewards. :p

There will be much more interesting stuff on my blog in the coming days. I hope I can help put a smile on your face with my writing! #Celebratelife365

 

Life as a 30 years old

Every decade is a milestone in life, especially for me.

My life changed dramatically with this year’s birthday, and big 3 has been very exciting though challenging thus far. I’ve got a new job, picked up new skills, met so many new people! It’s awesome, and I have no complaints.

Age is but a number, it shouldn’t stop you from doing anything that makes you happy. Believe in what your heart tells you, but don’t forget to listen to advice of people. Good listeners go further in life. 

Day 41: #Celebratelife365

It’s been a while since I last spoke Japanese proper. As I was walking back to office after lunch today, 2 Japanese ladies stopped me to ask for directions. They spoke minimal English, with some Japanese. I tried my best to provide them with the information with English and my rusty Japanese, but they don’t seem to get it. Thinking it will be a small detour that I have to make if I were to bring them to their destination, I decided to walk them there. It took me another 10 mins of lunch hour.

I’m really happy to walk with them and talked along the way. I’ve always love many things Japanese, that’s why I took up the language. They also reminded me I should do some revisions to brush up on my Japanese. (Sensei don’t be mad!)

#celebratelife365 #thrive

Day 40: #Celebratelife365

Lunches recently are so much more fun. Have been meeting up with old friends for lunch. Today its with my primary school friend. We were classmates since primary 1, that makes 23 years of friendship. My primary school class is rather close knitted one, we still met up and have gatherings very often after graduation. Right now we have a group chat.

Time always passes by so quickly when you spend it with the right company. We had so much to catch up. An irony that this friend and I stay quite near each other, but we have to meet up in town because our offices are near.

I’m going to ask more friends the next time, and that can be another mini gathering.

#Celebratelife365 #Thrive

Day 39: #celebratelife365

I am now a regular of the vegetarian restaurant in Chinatown. I lunch there almost every weekday. The uncle calls me by my name.

Everyday he looks forward to sharing new dishes with me. He knows I love noodles and soups, sometimes I don’t even have to say anything, and he knows what I want.

This place feels like home to me. And the people too.

They don’t only feed me. They feed my soul too.

#Celebratelife365 #thrive