29 June 2014

I fell in love today....

Meet Scotch! What a handsome lad. He is majestic and he walks like a lion.

Scotch has shiny fur. 
I haven't been around dogs for a while so I was allergic to his saliva, which was poo poo because his coat is silky soft and it GLISTENS in the sun. Would have been nice to run my fingers through his fur, or pet his pretty head, or something... He is the happiest (and prettiest!) golden retriever I have ever met. Scotch welcomed me with open paws and doggy kisses. 



Scotchy's beautiful owner (also my oldest, truest friend. This girl has seen me with my worst hair cut and went through the ~punk rocker with flowers in her hair~ phase with me.  I think that says a lot.)

27 June 2014


Hello! The past three days, I have been stuck. At home. With pneumonia. My whole family has it, and we're coughing up a storm (pneumonia affects the lower respiratory tract, so coughing is a painful thing because you're never sure if your rib cage is going to break or not.) I got it last year as well, and according to the WebMD, which is a more reliable source than doctors, it means I'm bound to be a little more immune to it. Which basically explains why I am in less pain than they are. The past three days have been spent in bed or in the patio, binging on Orange is the New Black. Which is kind-of-funny-but-not-my-kind-of-funny. Unlike how it's always funny in Philadelphia, you know.  

I've been eating a lot of onigiri as well, because my family eats porridge when they're ill and I am not a fan. My favourite onigiri fillings are salmon mayo and tuna. When I have kids, I'm going to buy them the cutest bento sets and make them onigiri every. Single. Day. I imagine them pulling their insanely cute bento boxes out of their bags during a food fight and winning because a ball of rice would splat more than a sandwich would.
Onigiri is easy to make. All you need is rice, sesame oil, salt, and a filling of your choice. Last semester, I'd make these for Jw so he could bring them to school the next day. I used a combination of spam, omelette and cheese as filings instead, if I made them the night before.  ~ Food safety warden ~

Also, I've had to have my milk and cookies in secret – **in my room guyssss!!!!** because living with my parents means that I will be mothered, and I'm also ill. Which means that my mom checks up on me like 10 times a day and looks at what I eat and drink and nags at me when she catches me drinking fizzy apple or the gong cha  that my brother (a.k.a. the boy who brought pneumonia home)  smuggles home for me. I'm complaining now, but I know that in a month I'll miss this.

Last week, I watched the Addams Family (1991) and I loved it! Much more than the 1993 sequel. I know earlier on I mentioned that WebMD was more reliable than a doctor, but sometimes the internet lies and tells you that Addams Family Values is more funny than it's prequel. Do not trust strangers!!!!!! Sometimes you believe what you read online and then waste like, 90 minutes of your time watching an unbearable, corny show. Yeah so basically watch the 1991 release because it's funny in a Michael Cera way. If I worked as a production assistant on the show, I'd have stolen stuff off the set to decorate my house with. Gomez and Morticia make such a good couple. 

Anyway mom's asleep which means my milk and cookie rampage begins now! TO THE KITCHEN


23 June 2014

Mom's first train ride

Today was a good day!
It was a phoneless kind of afternoon, where I left the house with my battery at 100%, and came home with it at 96%. It felt kind of nice not having to worry about who was doing what on Instagram or Twitter.

  •  Brought my mom on her first train ride (seriously, that woman relies on her car wayyyyy too much. The only reason why she agreed to take the train today was because the car park of the place we went to was a tad too small and she didn't want to scratch her car. (See attached picture)
  •  Went to the park and we hung out with a Malamute (!!!) She had the bluest eyes.
  • Went on the swings and flew! Sky high!
  • Jw tried bak kut teh for the first time, and liked it. There is literally nothing he doesn't eat. 

^^^ Balancing on the train is something she has yet to learn. The lady sitting in front of us was laughing when she heard our conversation. Eep. ^^^ 

17 June 2014

Out and about Singapore!

Playing tourist the past two weeks has been fun. The weather hasn't been that great, it's either been too hot or too rainy (I reaaaaaally wanted to go to the zoo last week but it was all heavy clouds and thunderstorms), so for the most part we've been hiding under our little pretend cocoon world of air-conditioning and shopping malls. 33 degree weather and 90% humidity do not go well at all... at least we got a couple of nice, sunny days this week.

^^^ Panorama of Marina Bay from atop the Espalande ^^^
^^^ Settling in to our office ^^^ 

^^^ In Singapore we have double decker buses. Jw had never seen one in his life before Singapore and was excited when I brought him on one. The front seats on the upper deck were empty, so this is him on his joy ride ^^^ 


^^^ Decided to nest a little and I went to Muji to look for things to buy for the apartment ^^^ 

^^^ The day when we tried to go to the zoo but it started raining cats and dogs so we hung out with my mom instead and watched Maleficient (which is an awesome movie!) ^^^ 

16 June 2014

Singapore food: Part 1

So if you've taken a look around my (updated!!!) new site, you may have realised that in my FAQ section, I mentioned that despite having lived in Singapore for the most part of my life, I don't know much about this tropical island. Well.. that changes today! Sort of. This post is about food in Singapore that I tried and liked and where to get them.

Singapore is known for many things, like growing really fast, being the most expensive city in the world to live in, and having a large number of grumpy citizens. Most of which is true, by the way. It is also known for it's food. The moment I stepped out of the airport, I told my parents that all I really wanted there and then was a bowl of Bak Chor Mee. This was at 5am in the morning after having suffered a long transit due to my first flight being delayed. Then I felt bad because they had stayed up all night waiting for me, so we went home and headed out for BCM in the afternoon instead. The first mouthful of it was divine. And so was the second. And the third. But anyway, without further ado, here's a post about a month's worth of nom-worthy images and where to find them.

^^ This was literally lasagna on top of pizza. I had seconds and thirds and am definitely going to try and make this when I get my hands on some Velveeta.. mm ^^  
At the Shangri-la hotel

 ^^ One lone Tong Heng egg tarts. Egg tarts are one of my favourite chinese desserts, and the best egg tarts in Singapore are made by Tong Heng. The crust is fluffy, flaky and sweet and the egg filling is just d-i-v-i-n-e. Definitely one of the things I crave for a lot when I am in Vancouver. 

^^ Brought Jongwook for a nonya buffet to give him a taste of what my kind of food is like. My grandma makes a lot of these kinds of food. This was Chili Padi Nonya Cafe in NUS.  Everything they put out was yummy, from laksa to buah keluat and crab stock soup. It was soo gratifying watching Jw enjoy everything he ate. ^^

 ^^ An aglio olio with a (badly made) Caesar at Pepper Steak House in Great World City. The aglio olio was perfectly al dente and it was garlicky, which I loved. ^^ 

^^ My mom brought Jw out for lunch at Crystal Jade, which is obviously one of the most successful restaurant chains in Singapore. This was the first plate of roast pork I had in two years. I also had crispy noodles and all sorts of Dim Sum, and my mom and Jw enjoyed their fried yam as well! *shudder* ^^

^^ Speaking of Dim Sum... I tried Custard Buns for the first time ever. I've always wondered what that creamy bun that everyone instagrammedwhen they went for Dim Sum was. Apparently the deep-fried ones taste better than the steamed ones, though! ^^

 ^^ Bak Chor mee at Great World City. I love black vinegar so much so I always ask for more of it! ^^

 ^^ Since Jw liked the Nonya buffet, my mom brought him for a Penang buffet. They had penang style laksa, hokkien mee, thr thor soup, nasi lemak, mee goreng, sambal otah, fried chicken, and many other dishes, but I remember these as the yummiest ones.  Jw literally sampled everything at the buffet, and it was really fun watching him beam whenever he tried something new and liked it. This was Princess Terrace Cafe at Corpthrone King's Hotel.

^^ One morning we decided to come into work really late so we went for breakfast at Wendy's. It wasn't anything special but I haven't been to Wendy's for three years so a picture of it was due I guess? Ha ha ^^ 

^^ Found really delicious (and colourful!) rice bowls at Mex-Out.It's kind of like a DIY Quizno's sandwich concept, but with rice instead ^^

^^ I've also been going to Joe & Dough a lot for coffee. I love their little coffee shop and their baked goods are preeeetty ace. For about two weeks I lived for their caramel lattes and their peaches & brie sandwich. 

^^ Woke up to Dim Sum one day. I had to. ^^ 

^^ MY FAVOURITE ICE CREAM FLAVOUR IS THE PADDLEPOP RAINBOW!!! I missed you. I missed you so much. ^^

^^ Got decent cheese fries for $3.50 at the food court in Greenwich Village. It's so difficult to find cheese fries like this in Canada because 99.9% of the time, people assume you're talking about poutine when you say you want cheese fries. No!! No!! Blasphemy!!!!!! ^^ 

^^ A fried dough fritter (best with congee!) and home made garlic chili, courtesy of my aunt. ^^ 

^^ Went for dinner at Little Part One Cafe. Their menu hasn't changed in years!! Here you kind of, sort of see my shepherd's pie. ^^

^^ Tigermilk. ^^ 

^^ More BCM hunting: this one is from May Hua food court in the CBD area. Their BCM tastes awesome (I think) because they use a lot of lard in their cooking, which is a little unhealthy I suppose, but Bak Chor Mee is life so fiiiiiiight itttt~ ^^

^^ Dessert in my special made French bento box. Happy ^^ 

^^ Desserts at The Line, Shangri-la hotel ^^. I've never been a fan of the buffet at the Line because I always found the combination of food served a little too, shall we say, ambitious? Their dessert station is probably my favourite stop.  ^^

This is only Part 1 of my little guide!! More to follow in weeks to come, because Jw loves local food here which is definitely a plus for me. It has only been two weeks, and he has been adjusting so well, I can't say i'm not proud of him :)

Some nights he comes over and we have my helper cook up something local, like Singapore fried vermicelli (aka Bee Hoon, but this is what Vancouverites know the dish as), and wantons (my family's not-so-secret ingredient: ground up water chestnuts), and he's happy with that. The other day I overheard him telling my mom that he "had to learn how to cook laksa because Sarah always craves for it in Vancouver." Aww!! Hopefully we have time to learn how to cook Singaporean food before we head back because I don't know when we'll return again...

15 June 2014

Chill summer: the Virgin Caesar cocktail, reinvented.

Back in Canada, my go-to drink was a Caesar. Unfortunately, no one outside Canada knows how to make this drink, so I've gone a month without my lovely tangy clammy drink.

Here in Singapore, it's difficult to find the main ingredients (worcester sauce, clamato juice, so I scoured the supermarket the other day looking for ways to keep my palate happy, and i came up with the perfect summer drink (or so I think), until someone told me this was literally a virgin Mary. I'm going to post it anyway because I felt very clever back when I thought that I had come up with a variation of my favourite drink. I like it because it's tangy and when I use sweet lime, it tastes a little like pizza. It's perfect for humid evenings here.

You need: 
Half a lime
4 drops of Tabasco sauce
250ml Tomato Juice
Ice cubes
Ground black pepper  (adjust to your taste preferences)

It is just as simple as it sounds! 
  • In a glass, add the tomato juice and squeeze the lime juice in.
  •  Add in the tabasco sauce and pepper. 
  • Stir and add ice cubes in.  

4 June 2014

Anew: I start blogs when I am bored.

Good afternoon! It is exactly 3:30 and I am sitting in our office here (where I am happy to say that Jw and I will spend a good chunk of time following something we both like: Buddhism) feeling really, really bored. The past month was a whirlwind of sorts; I will talk about that soon. But here I begin my quest of pursuing my dream: writing. I think it is safe to say that I have dabbled in everything – marketing, events, politics, and music (which I dearly love, but I think it's better that it remains a side project for now).. but nothing has come close to writing. I know the chances of making a good ton of money lies in politics, which is something I thoroughly enjoy, but I've spent my time recently planning the last Shangri-La dialogue.. and while I am so incredibly lucky to have been able to meet people that others dream of meeting of, and to have been there to actually see everything that! went! down! (and enjoy a lotttt of good food), i just can't do it. Politics will always interest me, but i know that I will never enjoy the game. I just like to sit on the bleachers and watch. For the longest time i thought that I would one day get into public policy or join an NGO and make life better for many people out there.. I will help more people one day, but I have to think of other ways to do that now. For the time being, I am really content with sitting at home drinking DavidsTea and reading blogs about nesting, children, and everything DIY.

I guess the point that I am trying to get across is... I am going to start running a for-profit blog. Or a blog that may one day turn for-profit. You know, whichever comes first. Not every post is for-profit, I am still going to blog about my life, and everything nesty and happy... and if this doesn't work out I'd be totally ok with it. I thought I'd be honest and just put my intentions out loud and clear here anyways, which is why you may notice that my labels and tags are going to sound a little more attention seeking and my eventual use of hashtags on instagram.

I've got a long way to go and here in Shitapore, I've received more than a few disapproving looks when I tell people that i want to write and that I study a lot of Buddhism and Taoism. But what matters is what I want, what keeps me happy, and what I have passion for. For now, this is what it is. i've spent a month behind a desk knowing damn well that I never ever want to be confined to a desk again. It's taken me a long time to actually get down to pursuing my dream(s), because I've always been worried about the disappointment I was going to bring to my parents. To be fair, my mom has always been supportive of me doing anything that isn't a desk job, but my dad has always wanted me to be a professional, or whatever. It took a great deal of convincing, but I know I got his approval when he said "well, why don't you start majoring in classics to help you with writing?". And that was good enough.

Tajaux was a great space that captured happy moments but I think a little upgrading was needed: first of all, I didn't like the way tajaux was spelled – it has always been tajo (tajo.com is unfortunately, taken, but sarahtajo isn't that bad, i guess. It's a little more personal.) i am in the process of moving some posts over (like my awesome recipes and all the little moments i've captured there) and it will all be ready soon. Ideally, my aim is to eventually capture just happy things in my life, and to curate a happy space. Thanks for reading. Ta!