Tuesday, August 19, 2014

USA 2014: Wandering around Grand Central Station like Serena van der Woodsen






















Unlike Serena, I didn't have the luxury of taking a train and arriving at Grand Central in style. I actually had to walk to Grand Central. Thankfully it wasn't too dreadful a walk. The pictures of NYC along the way should tell you something... heh.

By the way, I am beyond amazed at how easy it is to get around by feet in NYC. There was barely the need to ask around consistently for directions, or desperately try to find some obscure street name. As long as you have the street and avenue of your destination.... Voila! You'd probably know where it is!

Back to topic. Grand Central is probably on every tourist's must see list in New York... Especially for gossip girl fans like myself. Also, Grand Central is a prime example of how older buildings have managed to blend in an urban city such as New York, adding to NYC's allure.

You know, I think that is where NYC's charm lies. The blend between old and new buildings. Glass against brownstone. It captures the life of the city with all its hustle and bustle, while retaining the historic charm of New York. I think I'm in love (and I'm not anywhere near Paris).

As you can see, I jetted off on a Subway to my next destination...

Till next time!

xoxo pamela

Friday, August 8, 2014

Foodies' Day Out

Ikkousha Ramen @ Chijmes




By the time we reached Ikkousha Ramen, the lunch hour had passed and we were spared from having to squeeze and queue with the lunch hour crowd. That's one good thing of having a free day to yourself I guess - lunch at any time of the day.

Perhaps it was because there weren't many people in the shop when we arrived, but the staff from Ikousha Ramen were incredibly welcoming and quick. Apart from that, the free boiled eggs on the table would be something to entice any egg lover to the restaurant - unless you prefer salted eggs like me. 

While it was really enjoyable meeting up with Simin, it was just as satisfying to realise that we received free gyozas as we were paying our bill. (Another good thing if you are paying for your own meal)

Lady M Confections @ Marina Square








After lunch (and a little bit of walking), we decided to search for somewhere to enjoy some dessert, and ended up at Lady M Confections, a New York based boutique that has branched out into Singapore, Korea and Los Angeles.

While Simin enjoyed a Mille Crepe, I decided to select something off the usual range of cakes and went for a Mille Feuille. The Mille Feuille seemed to have the right balance of taste and flavour, and with its light and frothy cream, I wasn't sick of this confection at any point. 

One note of caution though. Prices at Lady M Confections are a little steep (est. $9-10 for a slice of cake after tax), but I would say you're probably paying for both the food and the experience. The sleek, clean decor and relatively quick service does make you feel as if you are enjoying something a little more classy, outside of your regular cafe. 

Gong out with Simin always means eating a lot more than usual and enjoying food from various places... I guess somewhere along the way Simin has become the friend I go out with on days I'd like to try out new food or cafe hop.

It was a great day.

xoxo pamela

Saturday, August 2, 2014

USA 2014: Times Square by Day













After being dazzled by Times Square the night before, I ventured into Times Square in daylight, not expecting it to be as dazzling and charming as it had been last night.

To say I was wrong would be an understatement.

Times Square in daylight is another sight to see. While there are less people on the streets (which could be a good thing), the charm and dazzle of New York City did not fade away like how Cinderella's gown did after the ball.

It was as if I was looking at the same buildings, but in a different light. Literally. Billboards were illuminated by the sunlight, and screens were not fazed in the presence of their largest competitor... the sun.

While night time in Times Square does have more buzz and excitement, Times Square in the daytime should not be missed either.

xoxo pamela

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fudge Brownies (and my first time baking)



This would never have happened if I wasn't entirely bored and looking for something fun to do. While it looks good and tastes like a mouthful of fudgey goodness (to me), there's definitely room for improvement.

Because I did stupid mistakes like not halving the eggs (because I halved everything from the original recipe) and forgetting to add the baking powder (which isn't too big a deal because it only means the brownies won't rise as much). Oh, and not baking it for long enough. Which gave it a really creamy, fudge texture in the middle (which tasted pretty awesome), so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Ok, I need to stop talking in brackets. LOL.

Since it was my first time baking, EVER, I think I didn't do too bad. #dontjudge

Recipe below:

Ingredients
125 grams of butter
275 grams of sugar
4 eggs (I should have used only 2)
85 grams of plain flour
150 grams of dark chocolate chips
75 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder (that I forgot all about)

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Celsius)
Put butter on a saucepan and place on medium heat until melted
Remove pan from heat, add sugar, and put the pan back on heat for 30seconds - 1 minute
Transfer mixture into a large bowl
Add the eggs and whisk until combined (with the mixture)
Add the flour, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla extract (and baking powder) and stir
Pour the mixture into a baking pan
Bake in preheated oven (for 30 minutes or more depending on the thickness of the mixture in your pan)
Leave to cool in pan for 1 hour, then place it in the freezer for 1 hour

One thing to note with the original recipe is the size of her pan and the thickness/height of the mixture in the pan (she made them into cubes in the end, so the height of her mixture is probably only half of mine, aka, short). If yours is pretty medium/tall, bake it for more than 30 minutes (and check to see if its fully baked!). 


Fudge Brownie recipe extracted from passionforbaking.com

Happy baking! (though I think I enjoyed taking photos of my brownies more than baking and WAITING itself)


xoxo pamela

ps. I will post any updates/tips if I happen to bake with this recipe again 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Graduated!




Before my graduation ceremony, I was filled with excitement and anxiety. I was glad that I had finally completed my studies, and yet I was wondering if I'd end up doing something stupid, like falling on stage.

As my dad drove towards the auditorium so he could drop me off (with my mom and grandparents), my mom was telling my grandparents this was the first place I'd been to 3 years ago (during the open house). It wasn't. I distinctly remember the day I was dropped off at the Nanyang Auditorium to attend a ceremony for the Innovation Programme when I was fourteen. It was the very day I told myself that I would one day become a student in NTU.

I made myself a promise, and I did it. Yesterday was finally the day I graduated from NTU.

Throughout the past 3 years, I've learned and experienced so much that I could not pen down everything I wanted to say in the caption of a photo on Instagram.

I've gotten to know so many people, many of whom are now people I care about and want in my life very much. I learned that sometimes people leave you, that friendship is a two way street, and that there will always be people who will stand by you no matter what. I may not have been the valedictorian, but I've discovered that sometimes, you just have to open your eyes a little bit more to find that these people who will stick with you through thick and thin could be the very people who are standing right in front of you.

I've probably neglected my family and longtime friends such as TTC at various times in the past 3 years, but they have been the very people who have been there for me at every step of the way. The sheer amount of graduation gifts from them should tell you something.

Then, there are the other valuable people. Without them, my time in school over the past 3 years would have been drastically different.

There's Sally, who is probably the first friend I made in NBS.
Simin, whom I may not have become so close to if we didn't bond over TVXQ (who is also my food hopping buddy).
Kay, Siping, Shilei and Merri, the four girls I bonded with over cute caucasian guys (and also the four girls who gave me a birthday surprise and Gardens by the Bay).
Yap Heng, someone I can talk about almost anything with (especially fashion), who refuses to get a Facebook account.
Gwen, Nahgnef (fenghan), Aaron, James, Kang Hui, Mak and Weicong, who I have spent so much time with over the past year, and the people who made me laugh more than I would have without them.

There's so many other people, but if I wrote everyone's name down, this post would never end.

Thank you all so much for being in my life. I feel truly blessed that I have made so many amazing friends and gotten to know so many amazing people over the past 3 years. On days when I question myself if I chose to pursue the right degree/major, I'd think of all of you, and I'd agree that I've made the right choice, because if I pursued something else, I would never have gotten to know some/all of you.

So thank you mom and dad for putting me through school so that I could learn, get smarter and meet all these wonderful people who are now invaluable to me.

I've had 3 amazing years in NTU, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.

My university life may not be perfect, but it has been made better because of everyone who has been in it.


xoxo pamela

Friday, July 25, 2014

USA 2014: A Carrie Bradshaw-esque First Step into Manhattan














My first step into Manhattan was probably like how I'd imagine Carrie Bradshaw's would have been: Awestruck at the beauty, charm and life of New York City.

Even from my first night out in Times Square, New York City oozed with life and charm. It's almost as if the city was truly alive. Within the first ten minutes in Times Square, I probably told myself 'What I'd give to live here...' at least twenty times.

As I write this post, my brain's saying What I'd give to go back there all over again.

That's what New York City will do to you I guess. While you're blinded by the lights in Times Square, the city has inadvertently trapped you with it's beauty.

I know it sounds cheesy, but, I'm hooked.


Disclaimer: All posts on my USA trip will be heavily filled with photos. Just so you know.


xoxo pamela