Wednesday, December 30


The original plan for #32 was to print out the saved .jpg files of interiors I loved and then file them in categories -- bedroom, book shelves, etc -- in a binder.

However, the thought of printing out gazillions of crummy low-res pix and then punching holes and then all that filing was just too daunting, not to mention unenvironmentally friendly.

So I've done it digital style, in the form of a visual scrapbook. Well, it's actually another blog, but one with lots of pretty photos of things I love -- mostly home decor, but also some fashion and some quirky stuff I come across on my online travels -- and very few words. The fact that I can tag the posts for easy reference just sealed the deal.

I'm still slowly uploading all my photos -- I wasn't exaggerating about there being gazillions, but luckily my work involves lots of thumb twiddling followed by frenzied activity -- so come visit often at karang guni tendencies and leave a comment or 10 (I'm a comment ho! And don't worry about having to include your email address, just put a fake one or something if you want. Have I mentioned that I'm a comment ho?). And not to make this blog jealous or anything, but I may actually post there more often, since putting up pix is so low commitment.

Sunday, December 27

merry festivus

How was your holidays? Mine was filled with all the little things that matter.

Fairy lights put up for the family feast on Christmas Eve.

Mini Christmas tree I just had to get when I saw it in Cold Storage. Note to self: It is a warzone there on Christmas Eve. Avoid at all costs.

Unfortunately, I had to brave the hordes of last minute shoppers to get ingredients to bake some dog biscuits. The adorable cookie cutter was from Pantry Magic.

Very simple recipe which I modified. Pour 3/4 cup of hot milk over 125g (or half a block) of unsalted butter and stir. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 egg. Add whole wheat flour, half cup at a time, total of three cups. Knead for a few minutes, then roll out on a flat surface and cut into bone shapes. Bake at 160 deg C for 50 minutes and allow to cool.

They smelled quite heavenly, if I may say so myself. I also ate one, just to test if they were as good as they smelled. Not bad, but super hard.

They were a big hit with all the neighbourhood dogs (this is Chase the chocolate lab from next door)...

My friends' three dogs at their Christmas Day BBQ-cum-mahjong (this is Tyson the Italian Greyhound who snuggled in my lap while I played mahjong and lost all the money I had in my purse)...

And of course, Randolph (seen here with a Santa Claus ribbon around his neck, a cookie on his paw and a longing look on his face).

Ah, the indignities he has to suffer for a mere cookie.

Much as I detest dogs being dressed up, I have to admit that I find this hilarious, even if he doesn't. His grumpy face says it all.

After all that feasting, this is my weight. The scale reads in metric, FYI.

Wednesday, December 16

butter makes everything better

Struck by an intense craving for bread and butter pudding, I scoured the Internet (well, actually the recipe was one of the first few I googled) and decided to make it last night.

Right after work, I rushed to Cold Storage in the rain and bought a loaf of bakery bread (I think it makes a difference from the dense Gardenia/Sunshine type). All the other ingredients were pantry staples, so I didn't even have to buy them.

I sort of winged it and modified the recipe. Assembly took a mere 15 minutes, then the bread had to soak for 30 minutes before being baked for another 30 minutes.

And by 11pm, I was wolfing down hot, custardy, chocolatey goodness. (It looked burnt, but wasn't. It was the brown sugar I sprinkled on top. My sis cruelly described it as one of those topographical Google maps.)

Here's the recipe I made up (for my own reference, because I am sure I will be making this over and over again):

Six to eight slices of white bread (with crust), cut into four triangles
Half a slab of unsalted butter (you can use less if you butter the bread less liberally, but I went all out)
Two cups of milk
Two eggs
Half a packet of chocolate chips for baking (I used the semi-sweet ones I found at the back of my fridge, leftover from a long-forgotten baking project; the recipe called for raisins, but I was morally opposed to them)
Five teaspoons of sugar (I used brown, but white may have been better)

Grease the oven-proof dish, which should be deep enough to allow the bread to soak.

Butter the bread triangles and layer in the dish, buttered side up. Toss in a large handful of chocolate chips. Continue layering with the bread until you reach the top of the dish.

Beat the two eggs in a container that has a spout for easy pouring, then add the milk and three teaspoons of sugar. Pour the mixture over the bread, making sure all the slices are soaked. Sprinkle the remaining two teaspoons of sugar on top.

Let the dish stand for at least 30 minutes, for the bread to be thoroughly soaked.

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Bake for about 30 minutes until the tops are slightly brown and the pudding has risen somewhat.

Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes (if you can wait that long), and dig in. You don't even need to add custard or ice cream, it's good enough on its own.

Monday, December 14

the (accidental) wedding planner

Our union is like this: You feel cold, so I reach for a blanket to cover our shivering feet.
A hunger comes into your body, so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes.
You asked for a few words of comfort and guidance, and I quickly kneel by your side offering you a whole book as a gift.
You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep, and I say here is a rope, tie it around me, I will be your companion for life.

~ Our Union by Hafiz

A friend of mine, let's call her the Neurosurgeon, is getting married on Saturday to this guy who, for the sake of simplicity, shall be known as the Diplomat.

Because the Neurosurgeon works long hours on crazy shifts and the Diplomat is not even based in Singapore, somehow, I landed the job of Wedding Planner.

My only experience has been as a 姐妹 (twice), a guest-book-angpow-box guardian (also twice) and Polaroid photographer (once, super fun until I realised I had to shoot a former MP and my company's CEO).

So far, we have settled:

-- the dinner venue (after the crushing disappointment of not getting the first choice restaurant),
-- the hair stylist (the Nazi, of course)
-- the flowers (a very efficient and cost-effective friend)
-- the alteration of gowns (my seamstress, who is not only good, but also always cheery and has lots of gossip to share about acquaintances with $20,000 French lace wedding gowns and cheap bridesmaids' outfits)
-- the shoes (two pairs bought in one intensive Saturday afternoon of mall pounding)
-- the photographer (finally found one after being turned down many, including three by the names of Desmond, Desmond and Desmond)
-- the music (acapella outfit from a smokey cigar bar, zero input on song selection from me, because I have deplorable taste in music)
-- the accessories (vintagey, hand-made and a perfect match to the gown)
-- the last-minute cheongsam (Tong Tong Friendship Store)
-- the last-second additional wedding gown (designed by my former elf, still being made as we speak).

I was also asked (but adamantly refused) to design her wedding gown (no experience, too stressful) and take photos (ditto). I gladly offered my services for her food tasting session, though, where three of us devoured portions meant for six.

Only things left to do: Make the angpow box, do the place cards for the dinner and lose enough weight to fit into the dress I am intending to wear.

Phew. Did we leave anything out?

If I ever get married and if I decide to wear a poufy white gown and if I decide to hold a wedding dinner and if I do get a band to perform -- all very big ifs and all of which I am not sure I want -- then these would be the songs I choose. Of that I am sure. The tenderest love songs are those crooned in Hokkien.

Saturday, December 5


Trapped in Cold Storage during a sudden afternoon downpour -- seemingly a daily occurrence, afternoon downpours, I mean, not being trapped, although that has already happened three times in two weeks -- I succumbed to a punnet of cranberries on half price at $5.

I have to state for the record that before this, the only cranberries I've had were dried, juiced or sauced. After tasting them "raw", I realised it was with good reason they were processed. These glorious red rubies were both tasteless and sour at the same time, if that was at all possible. They sure looked purdy in my baby blue colander though.

The solution? Cranberry muffins (with walnuts added for more crunch), baked in the cutest floral muffin cases from X, on a drizzly Friday afternoon with my sissy. Mom stood behind us and breathed down our necks (oh, I mean supervised), finding fault with the way the flour was sifted, walnuts chopped and oven preheated.

Though the mini muffins looked way cuter, the big ones were more moist. And more satisfying too, as they took more than two bites to finish.

About 25 minutes later, we were gobbling these babies down. And the next day, we had them for tea. And there are still more left for breakfast picnic we plan to go on tomorrow, if we can wake up on time.

Listening to The Cranberries' Linger now, for the most tangential of reasons.


For way too many years, I'd put off going to the dentist. Just one of those things I never got round to doing, but now it's done. And my teeth are "pretty good", according to the dentist, so I guess not visiting didn't do any harm.

Next visit should be in 2014, give or take a couple of years.

[For those interested, toothbrushes belong to sis (bear), mum (panda), dad (frog) and me (dog, butofcos).]

Wednesday, December 2


Do gooding makes me feel good.

Instead of my goal of buying a cow for charity -- for some reason, none were on sale this year, although there were goats and pigs -- I substituted it with two school bags, four pillows, five standing fans, six mattresses and 17 rice cookers.

This was with the help of some friends from work, who all gave so generously, so that we could fulfil the wishes of some of the needy folks of the Boys' Brigade Sharity Gift Box.

So. These are not cows, but rice cookers can go moo, too. And that's #11. Good grief, I still have another 20 more items to cross off the list and less than two months to go.

P.S. The above photo was shot with a disposable camera from Muji, which failed me horribly. Out of 27 shots, perhaps three were half decent. The rest were horrendously under-exposed, even those shot in my brightly fluorescent-lit office or on a scorching day on Sentosa. Piece of 200-yen-impulse-buy crap.


Over the past three days, I had unwittingly cut all meat from my diet. Guess I was a temporary lacto-ovo pescatarian -- there was only one little lapse, can you spot it?

Breakfast: Carrot cake (the ang moh kind, baked by mom), prune juice
Lunch: Mee goreng, teh si
Snack: Mini bowl of laksa, soon kueh, chicken wing
Dinner: Fried fish, turnip, dark chocolate

Breakfast: Nutella with bread, prune juice
Lunch: Prawn and scallop udon, hard-boiled egg white
Dinner: Seafood salad with wafu dressing
Supper: Tomato, fish and tofu soup, dark chocolate, Yakult

Breakfast: Wholemeal bread, prune juice
Lunch: Seafood noodles, teh si
Snack: Mini dark chocolate tart, handful of honey dijon mustard chips, cuttlefish, two organic strawberry cookies
Dinner: Fish, spinach with century and salted eggs, dark chocolate, Yakult