Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Very Doggy Birthday

As an aspiring architect living in a foreign country, it's understandably ill-advised for me to keep a dog of my own. So what's a girl gotta do to get her doggie fix? Why, sponsor one from a local shelter, of course!

Meet my dog, George.

That is his default pose when he's about to be given some food, as if he tries to convince me he's a good boy who deserves some treats, lols. I've been sponsoring him for the past year. He is one of the unwanted dogs that was rescued and now stays at Pets Villa under Animal Lovers League organization. Please check out their website here it'll be worth your while!

This was George the day I first met him a year ago, January 1st, 2012. He was still very aloof and cold towards me, half the time he couldn't wait to go back to the shelter, literally dragging me with him when he saw the shelter's fence.

Four months on and he finally warmed up. Now whenever I come by, he would welcome me with such joy. Just look at those hopeful eyes, don't you just melt?
Puppy eyes
George is such a cutie-patootie, he's a naughty dog and a trouble-maker who will shower you with kisses and hugs, and he loves you wholeheartedly. On some occasions, he would sit behind the fence and watch me as I left the shelter until I was out of sight. Such a good boy, that George!

Another quirk of his that I find so adorable is that he can't stand the hot weather. When the sun is burning brightly outside, don't expect him to go for a walk. I've caught him literally avoiding the sun by walking only under shaded area in the shelter. And he likes to take a dip in the water bucket provided throughout the shelter that I think is actually meant for the dogs to drink from!

This is him dipping his hind legs in the water.
Can't stand the hot weather!

So, what better way to mark one full year of George being in my life than with throwing him a birthday party!

I wanted to give George a special treat on his birthday so I ordered a cake from The Barkery, a canine bakery located at East Coast Road. Please check out their website here, they have some of the most adorable and delicious doggy treats, not to mention affordable and healthy because they don't use preservatives and everything is prepared by using wholesome ingredients only. They also have some party supplies, I bought a party hat for George there.

I feel The Barkery is a shop that was born out of love for our canine friends, everyone there was friendly and their products especially the cakes and biscuits looked so yummy, I really love visiting their store!
The Barkery's Storefront

Yummy Doggy Biscuits

Some of The Barker's Products

Cute Pictures

Add caption

This is our birthday boy, posing in his party hat.
George, the Birthday Boy
And this is the 5" round birthday cake with beef fillings and green icing ordered especially for George. George was excited to see the bone-shaped biscuit with his name on it. Doesn't it look so yum-yum?
Yummy Birthday Cake

Sliced to showcase the yummy goodness inside
Here are some snapshots from George's special day:

George caught eyeing his cake

Pose for one more shot, George!
George giving Vicky a peck

The dog with the golden fur in the last pic is Vicky. She is so gentle, sweet, and cuddly. I'm not sponsoring her but I would take her out sometimes. Vicky LOVES her walks. I wish I could get to a place in my life where I'd be able to adopt them both sooner. I even already know how I'd rename them: King George and Queen Victoria =D

Here's to that dream being a reality! Hear, hear!


Isn't my party hat so cute?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Lunch : Madrina at Bukit Timah

Merry Christmas everyone!

This year I celebrate Christmas with lunch at Madrina, an Italian restaurant at Bukit Timah area that is totally a hidden gem in Singapore. You can learnmore about the restaurant here.

I chanced upon this restaurant back in 2009, I was just visiting a friend's house in the area and wanted to have dinner before going home. This place didn't look promising at first but after we sampled the food there was no doubt that we would definitely go back.

We haven't visited the restaurant as much as we'd like to especially because it was quite a chore to get to, it used to only be able to be reached by bus and before we know it, 3 years has passed. Now that we have the Circle Line, we just have to alight at Farrer Road MRT station and walk a few minutes over.

Madrina is located at a deck of an HDB complex. My roommate and I looove the place because it is so unassuming and mellow. Every time we went there, there were never that much people around.

Here are some shots of the interior:

So let's cut to the chase: the food here is top notch, as authentic as can be without all the pretentiousness. The chef and the owner (I assume) is Indian (I assume) =D He is very friendly and he'll remember you. When we went there a month after our 1st visit, he remembered us. He didn't remember us when we went for the pre-Christmas lunch, though...but it's been 3 years so understandable.

The place is not for people who like to see and be seen, just people who'd like to enjoy good food and have a low-profile outing.

There are two caveats though: it takes them longer to serve the food than you'd like to so make sure to bring good company, and the price is on the steeper side especially if you have a predisposition on how much a restaurant at such unglamorous location should charge.

Here's what we ordered:

- Calamari
- Insalata di Salmone (Salad with smoked salmon)
- Broccoli soup (not pictured)
- 24" pizza, half Ischia (prosciutto with arugula) and half Brindisi (Beef pepperoni and anchovies)
- Affogatto (vanilla ice cream in coffee)
- Cappuccino
- Tiramisu


Insalata di Salmone

24" pizza



Everything was perfection except perhaps the broccoli soup (not as creamy as I'd like but perhaps it's healthier but overall was quite meh) and the capuccino (I don't know what constitutes good coffee but it was too frothy for my liking).

Pizza was top notch, thin and crispy with tasty toppings. A warning though, Brindisi toppings can taste too salty due to the anchovies. The calamari retained the springy texture without being hard to bite/chew on, and the Insalata di Salmone was fresh and tangy. You should definitely get the Tiramisu to complete your meal, it's so rich and bursting with flavors!

All in all we spent about SGD86 (tax included), I know, I know, it's expensive...but really for food of this quality I think it's relatively a steal. Plus, the super mellow location is a plus plus for us who dislike crowds. Give it a try, everyone!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Polish Review

Hello there, haven't been blogging for a while due to work!

In today's post I'm gonna review the new line of nail polishes by Bourjois called 1 Seconde. It's their latest nail polish line which claims to have silicone gel texture. I don't know about that but they do have some gorgeous albeit limited color selection. Oh, and their bottles are the most unique!
Love the tall cap design, very cute.There are textured patches on them to help you twist open the cap. I bought 01 Transparent glossy which is a top coat but the SA told me it could be used as base coat as well, and 09 Lavande esquisse which is a beautiful pastel purple.

To clarify, their name 1 Seconde refers to its ability to be applied on the whole nail surface in 1 second flat due to the panoramic fan effect brush. The drying time is supposed to be 50 seconds as stated on the bottle but it is a lie, but I'll elaborate on that later.

So on my first try, I used 01 as base and top coat, and the result was....BEYOND!! Especially within the first few minutes. It's the smoothest, shiniest result I've ever seen in my life, ever!

Here's how it looks with no flash. 09 Lavande esquisse is actually a red-based purple but it looks more like a powder blue in the pictures, in reality it's more purple.

Here's how it looks with flash, the hue is more true to nature in these shots.

 Arent they just the smoothest ??!! I've used Seche Vite and it doesn't even come close to this. Seche Vite also tends to apply a little bit thicker, this one is just thin and smooth.

However, this line of polish has serious bubbling issue, like, MAJOR. After the honeymoon phase has passed (the first few minutes), bubbles start to form on the surface of my nails. I tried to use 09 Lavande esquisse with my usual combo of OPI Nail Envy + Natural Base Coat + Poshe Top Coat and it still had the same bubbling issue.

Another downside is the drying time. It says 50 seconds on the bottle but it's a lie. I don't know how long you should wait to cure the polish but I waited close to 30 minutes before I allowed myself to do anything with my fingers, something that I do with my other polishes and usually by then they are already cured. But not with 1 Seconde, no sire! My nails were left with all sorts of hairline scratches by the end of the first hour that I immediately took the polish off.

It's so disappointing and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, not until I've figured out a way to apply it correctly to avoid all the major issues above. Until then, I just have to hang on to the pics above =D

Monday, November 19, 2012

Victoria's Secret Ultimate Makeup Kit : Swatch & Review

Growing up in the '90s, I remember seeing a lot of makeup palettes that were sort of ubiquitous at the time. I don't remember the brand but it was usually encased in a black plastic container. The container's design ranges from simple to creative ones such as in the shape of nautilus, with a single pull-out palette to a more elaborate ones with multiple palettes that pull out or swivel. The many colors made for very interesting visuals.

Those palettes may have long gone but the fascinations continue, though. It's why palettes like ones from 88 Coastal Scents or ones that come out during Holiday Season from Sephora have become very popular.

Today I'm gonna review one from Victoria's Secret. It's called Ultimate Makeup Kit and I am very pleased with its quality given the price. It's from Victoria's Secret VS Makeup line and I bought this a little over a year ago, I think. It actually came with a cardboard box with Adrianna Lima's face on it but I discarded it a long time ago. I believe Victoria's Secret doesn't produce this exact same product anymore but they always have a makeup kit containing exactly the same thing that they launch every season in different packaging.

The kit comes in a compact black plastic box with smooth and shiny finish. The dimensions of the box when fully closed is 5.6"(L)x4.3"(W)x1.2"(H).
It opens up to two Silky Eyeshadow palettes that contain 15 shades each. The palettes slide to the side, revealing the Perfect lipstick and lip gloss palette. The lip glosses are on the left while the lipsticks are on the right hand side. Next to the lip palette is where the applicators, eye liner, lip liner, and mascara are stashed. There's another palette underneath that pulls out. This palette contains 4 blushes, a bronzer, and two kinds of powder.

All the makeup are made in USA except mascara, lip liner, and eye liner (Made in Italy) and the applicators and container (Made in China). I'd say for SGD45, that's not too shabby. Do you realize that nowadays big name brands would launch special limited editions palette during holidays in such cheap price but they'd all be made in China? I hate it when they do that, such a rip-off.

Now, for the swatches I'm gonna start with the eye shadows first, then the lip palette followed by the blushes and powders. Enjoy!

Silky Eye Shadows

 ROW 2
 ROW 3
 ROW 4
 ROW 5
The eye shadows really are silky and with the exception of the matte ones, they have a slight sheen that make them look very modern. They are all pigmented but not as pigmented as say, Urban Decay's so it's more foolproof and easier to blend or mix 'n match.

Perfect Lipstick & Lip Gloss
Left:Glosses, Right:Lipsticks

The lipsticks and glosses are very moisturizing but the color can be a little too sheer at times. It also has poor staying power and the glosses seem to dilute the lipstick color when applied on top of it and the pigment can settle into the creases. Can't say much about the eye liner or the lip liner, they come in the shape of tiny pencils that's a little over 2" long, very hard to control.

Blushes & Powders

Number 1 is the only matte color in the bunch. Numbers 2 & 3 contain the most glitters while number 4 is somewhere in between. Number 5 is called 'Luminous Powder', I think it's supposed to give some glamorous finishing touch. Number 6 is called 'Translucent Powder', it gives a nice sheen to the skin but it looks like it's only suitable for fair-skinned girls, not sure how it would turn up on dark-skinned girls. The bronzer is quite sheer so it's buildable depending on what effect you aim for, it also has a nice sheen to highlight your features.

The kit also includes a mini mascara which has apparently dried up. I don't like to use mini mascara anyway because it's hard to control the wand but if you're wondering, here's how the mascara looks when applied. 2 coats, no curler.

Here I've included a few look books using the VS Ultimate Makeup Kit for your reference as well:

 And a couple of look books using the lip palette:

So in conclusion, this palette is definitely worth it and I totally recommend this one if you're planning to get a palette to complete your cosmetics vocabulary. This palette offers variety of colors with modern finish and the colors (including the lip products and the blushes) are totally wearable, they are buildable so you can adjust the intensity of the color. This palette (different packaging, same contents) is available in any Victoria's Secret stores and online on their website for only USD32.

Until next time!