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My birthday celebration

Birthdays are always one of my favorite celebrations in the year, both for loved ones and myself. It’s a time where friends and families are gathered together over delicious food, drinks, and a lot of laughters. It is also special moments like these that reminds us of how grateful we are for what we have.

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This year i have been very blessed to have yet another lovely birthday celebration with my dear friends and families, where the celebration took place over the entire month with great food, company, and a lot of great memories. There was a mix cuisine of American, Italian, Japanese, British, Spanish, and some lovely birthday surprises in between. I’m sooooo thankful for everyone that is in my life right here right now, and i’m truly touched by my dear friends who know me so well, and purposely prepared the surprises with birthday cakesand gifts. I know it sounds cheesy with the birthday surprises and all but i just can’t help it, lol.

It was a chilled Friday night on September 6, just a day before my special day, where a sleep over at BFF’s place was organized so we could kick start my birthday in style the next day. As BFF took an early morning hike up to the peak, i lied in bed until the warm sun from the window beamed in and touched my face. It was a beautiful day and i couldn’t have asked for anything else better that morning. BFF and i both quickly got dressed and went downstairs and hopped into the closes cab within our sight. I asked “where are we going?” and she replied with a smiling face “it’s a surprise”, and i couldn’t help but feeling all giddy inside. As we approached Admiralty and drove up to the JW Marriott Hotel, i had a good feeling we were headed to Cafe Gray Deluxe Hong Kong, and i was right. We were greeted by a smiling receptionist who got our names down and ushered us to a table in the middle of the restaurant.

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Cafe Gray had a cosy ambiance with wooden decor against the lovely dangling chandeliers high above us, and the magnificent window view of the Kowloon area and ocean from a distant. I ordered one of my fave dishes, the Cafe Gray Black Angus burger in caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, tomato confit and some batter diped fries, and BFF had her fave eggs benedicts. It was a really relaxing afternoon where there was not a care in the world or a rush to go anywhere. We finished the meal by having a cuppa cappuccino where complimentary chocolates were given as well, much to my surprise. We slowly gobbled down the chocolates and without any warning, a waiter appeared from behind me holding a plate with a dessert on it that had “happy birthday skat” written in chocolate sauce. I was beyond speechless and the only visible sign I had was this big happy smile and touched look on my face. It was a delicious banoffee cake with rum raisin ice cream and it was orgasmic, to say the least, lol. My BFF has always been there for me and she’s just the sweetest and most understanding friend one can ask for. She’s been there for my good times and bad times and vice versa of course, and it’s truly a blessing to have her there celebrating my special day with me.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent over some retail therapy where I went to Calvin Klein for some long due new lingeries, and a quick stop over to Zara and H&M for some light shopping spree. Following that night, dinner was arranged at this steak house called “Steik World Meats” in Tsim Sha Tsui, where BFF had invited Ben to come along. Ben was such a sweet heart and got me a box of my fave Laduree macarons and i just couldn’t wait to get my hands on those delicious and beautiful looking sweet treats. We spent the entire night just slowing savoring our food and sipping on red wine, where the night gradually ended at Vibes over more wine and some birthday shots.

As we entered the door to BFF’s flat, i quickly kicked off my 4 inch heels and jumped onto her bed and was falling asleep. Little did i know, another surprise was coming my way. BFF told me to come to the living room and there she stood with her slightly tipsy face, and was holding these two mini but oh so cute birthday cakes, a tiramisu and mango/strawberry flavored one. With the appetite of a horse at such late hours, most likely due to the slight over drinking, we finished the cakes rather quickly. To end the night, i finally got to open my present and it was this lovely Marc by Marc Jacobs scarf with leopard print that my two BFFs had gotten me. I would say it was the perfect ending to the night for my birthday.

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Surprises were definitely up in the air for my birthday this year. Mr. A just happened to be in town on the week of my birthday and offered to take me to the peak. His big and friendly smile was just the same as i last remembered, and it was really nice to see him again.

It was a sunny weekend where the day started with some delicious Japanese ramen and gyoza (pan fried dumplings) before we started our journey to the peak. After a much fulfilled lunch, we slowly paced ourselves to the Tsim Sha Tsui star ferry where we would take the ferry to cross over to HK island. Upon arrival, we caught the bus 15C that did not have a roof, which made it a fun and touristy ride for me, as i looked high above the sky scrapers and scenic view of Hong Kong. A walk around the peak whilst enjoying the greenery and sipping on coffee over chit chats at the local cafe, while overseeing the view of Hong Kong, made me remember what it was like to enjoy the moment.

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the peak

We decided to have dinner at Pearl on the Peak, especially as i’ve heard quite good reviews of this restaurant. As we arrived to the front door, we were quickly escorted by a friendly staff who seated us to a table that was facing the entire view of Hong Kong. We both ordered the wagyu steak as we are such steak lovers, along with two glasses of red wine. The red wine was completely divine and complimented just right with the juicy steak. I ordered the organy flavored crepe with orange ice cream for dessert, where the chef made it live, right in front of my very own eyes. It was an interesting and different experience to see how my dessert came into fruition, where flames came into vision after the cognac was gently poured over the orange, and slowly simmered on the pan.

Pearl on the Peak

Pearl on the peak

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The night ended with a quiet stroll around the peak where we embraced all that the nature had to offer. There was also this cute giant heart stand where lovers would write messages on this heart paper provided for free, and they would eternalize their love by hanging the message on the heart. One could say it’s a cheesy doing but i kinda think it’s a sweet gesture if you’ve found the one.

As the time ticked away and it got closer to closing time, we took the next peak tram and headed back down, where we took one more glance of the beautiful Hong Kong night view. It was a very cosy, or as the Danes say it, “hyggeligt” night, and a nice way to end my birthday at the peak.

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The Peak

The Peak

All photos accredited to me

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In the city of love: Paris

As we enter July along with the hot summery season in full swing, I cannot help but keep dreaming of a getaway. It only seems like yesterday when I went to Europe with my family for my 30th birthday last September, where my parents got their first taste of Paris. It was my second time going to Paris but i think it’s fair to say that going to this lovely city just once or twice is not enough.

If you ever do go visit Paris, here are a few of my must do, see, and go to.

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1. Enjoying the city while eating away

Walking around the city of love, while searching for local yummy food is a must do. There is something exciting and fun about experiencing another culture through eating. On the way walking to La tour Eiffel, I noticed some food stalls that were selling these colorful twirl lollies and delicious gelato ice cream.

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We ended up eating some not so cheap but yummy baguettes and sat on a bench in a park. The sun was beaming as we slowly savored our baguettes and we couldn’t had asked for more, considering it was suppose to be a promise of rain that day.

To no surprise, Paris had plenty of streets that were packed with bakery shops, which was absolutely paradise for me. The moment of walking into a bakery with the aroma of fresh baked goods followed by a “bonjour” is what made the experience oh so very poshly French to me. One of their worldly recognized dessert, Macaron, was definitely on my list to try as well. After all, it was in Paris where i had my first taste of macarons and i fell in love with them then and there. I could already hear Laduree and Fachoun calling my name.

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2. Discovering the streets of Paris in the simplest way

One of the things I love most about Paris are the art work and paintings that are displayed on the streets. My dad was so cute and bought a small painting of La tour Eiffel and said that he would frame it when we get back to Hong Kong. Sadly,this lovely painting is still in my dad’s room collecting dust and missing a lovely photo frame to accompany it, lol.

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A stop by at the souvenir shops are a must as I love getting little gifts to myself and my friends and families back home. As i got a magnet collection for each country i visit, the Parisian themed magnets were on my top list to get. Other small gifts idea are postcards with scenic views of Paris, la tour Eiffel key chains, or other special nick nacks.

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Other beauties that caught my attention was this colorful and slightly worn out looking merry go around. My sister has this fascination about merry go around and so there I stood along with her and snapped a photo of it before we crossed the road. A simple form of nature such as the fallen leaves on the ground would inspire me to attempt at taking an arty photo. My turquoise flats seemed like a perfect color combo with the yellowish leaves on the ground, and was a great way to symbolize that i’ve stepped foot onto Paris. Maybe not in the most obvious way but it felt right at that moment as I took the shot.

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3. Taking the tourist bus to get the most out of the main tourist attractions

The hop on and off bus must have been the best invention ever for tourists on visits. It’s easy and carefree and you can stop or get on wherever you want in Paris. I’ve already done all this on my first trip to Paris but taking my parents there was an entirely different and special experience.

La tour Eiffel

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Everyone who goes to Paris will inevitably visit la tour Eiffel at least once. And i got to say, I never got sick of this beautiful view for the 3 days that I stayed there. You can take photos of it from afar, up close, or like me, take a shot of it from below. This angle is amazing especially during the day time when the sun is beaming against the la tour Eiffel. If you want to be more adventurous and have time, you can walk up or take the lift up. I walked half way up this tower with a friend back in my uni days and I assure you, the view will be worth ever step.

Louvre Palace and Louvre Museum

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Taking a stroll in the Louvre museum is a great and relaxing way to enjoy some art time, for those that are interested to discover the artsy side of Paris. If the weather permits, you can even try to capture beautiful shots from the outside of the Louvre Palace. The triangle glass ceiling of the Louvre museum is one of my favorite characteristics about this place.

The Palais Garnier Opera House

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Enjoy local ballets and opera performances if you fancy a bit of rest time while indulging to some great melodies with class. The Palais Garnier is of course, also one of the world’s most well know opera houses, that has the most beautiful yet historical architectural features to its building. Taking a photo of this beauty is a must, whether with you in the photo or not.

Notre- Dame cathedral, the Eglise du Dome church, and La Madeleine church

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The churches and cathedrals are also worth a visit to understand more about the history of France. It’s a quiet and sacred place where you can calm your thoughts away from the busy city of Paris, and find peace momentarily. The architectural structures of these buildings are of course, of such beauty, which you can admire from a distance or in close proximity.

How would you spend your time in Paris, and which activities mentioned above is your favorite?

Photo source: by me

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February Love 2013

Feb Love 2013

Chinese New Year celebration was in full swing with colorful flowers and kum quat trees being decorated around the house. Lovely afternoon chill time with friends over cake and tea at the cosy “Zelo” located in Pacific Place Shopping mall, which has a really modern and stylish design to its interior.  Painted my nails in green with some glitter to add some fun as we entered the year of the snake!

Ms. C was in town visiting and had arranged a lovely evening for Ms. S’s birthday and also for my belated 30th, at the Domani Ristorante. She had some contacts and managed to get us a lovely table with the view of Hong Kong island, where drinks were prepared in advance. Drinking the night away with champagne, red wine, and dessert wine, while catching up like old times, was definitely a  great way to spend a joint birthday together. Valentines Day came before i knew it, and being still single, i was really touched when i went to Pret A Manger for my morning coffee and salmon/cucumber bun, and  found a small heart shaped short bread placed inside the paper bag along with my breakie. It is these small gestures that really gets to my heart at times.  Quiet stroll along the Victoria Harbour after a filling meal to burn off some excess calories, whilst taking in the beautiful night view of Hong Kong, never fails to impress me.

Spent a relaxing Sunday evening over a friend’s house party where the fabulous host had prepared delicious food and desserts. A pot of hot lychee and rose tea was served into these lovely looking Wedgwood tea cups, which complemented well with the home made chocolate cake, to neutralize the overall sweetness. Regular visits to the Vibe bar at the Mira hotel as of lately, has proved to be an enjoyable experience where my friends and I sit and talk for hours over wine and cocktails. The circular chandelier at its lobby entrance manages to fascinate me every time i go there and i think i’ve fallen in love with it. Lovely daffodils were welcomed into the house to welcome the Chinese new year and to hope for a fresh and better start.

I am blessed for each and every day that was filled with love, fun, laughters, and sharing special moments with people i love and care for. You are my February Love 2013.

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Day trip to Granville Island

As those that follow my blog will know, i went to Vancouver for my very first time in December, where i spent my Christmas there along with my two BFFs. I was beyond excited to celebrate such a festive holiday at my BFF’s home town, in a new surrounding and along with new experiences to remember by.

One of the must see places if you ever visit Vancouver is Granville Island. It’s a shopping district located in the False Greek and is one of the major tourist attractions. It’s also interesting to know that this much relaxed area was once an industrial and manufacturing area, and i always like to visit places that has a bit of history to it.

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So it was much to my delight when i found out that BFF had arranged for a chilled lunch for us and some of her friends at “the sand bar”, a restaurant that serves fresh and delicious seafood in Granville Island. Ms. C and i were just as delighted knowing we would get to eat delicious food as we were in meeting some new faces, and quickly dragged out lazy butts out of bed.

Upon arriving to the sand bar, we were greeted by a lovely view of Granville Island, and there was even a bit of sunshine to welcome us. The sand bar is a lovely restaurant with wooden interiors and tall windows that allows a great view while you eat away in great company. There were 2 floors and we decided to sit on the lower floor where we quickly ordered our meal. I slowly and surely savored my black cod served with rice and veggies, where the black cod was  sweet, juicy, and smooth in its texture. It was definitely one of the best meals i had throughout my entire trip.

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A walk in the Granville Island market was up next in our agenda as everyone were craving for a coffee fix. As this market was indoors, it was also the perfect way to stay out of the cold as the sun started setting in. Like a proper tourist, Ms. C and I wandered around the market where we found ourselves swarmed by endless stalls with people selling their local produces and goodies. The varieties of souvenirs to take home was endless, ranging from fresh fruits, chocolates, candies, pastries, maple syrup and maple syrup tea, to even rainbow colored lollipops with a quirky name like “suckers”. I have to confess, not the best of names for lollipops but it definitely caught my attention.

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The non food zone within the market did not fail to ignite my curiosity or admiration either. A quick browse through the flower stands where i stood and admired the gorgeous colors was all it took to make me smile from within. It’s these small things in life where we really need to hold onto that very moment and live it . The were also plenty of DIY stalls for those that are more into the arty stuff.  I could not stop but stand in amazement when i passed by this stall where this lady was selling and making these really cute hand made Christmas decorations.

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As the end of the day drew closer, we finished up getting our souvenirs, mostly food, and sat outside the benches to enjoy the view before biding farewell to Granville Island.

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Have you ever been to Granville Island? And what great adventures did you have there?

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January Love 2013

Jan 2013

Finally managed to get a taste of my very first box of macarons from Laduree in Hong Kong, thanks to my dearest BFF who surprised me with them one night. You should had heard my “omg” shriek, hehe. Catching up with a good friend over red velvet cupcake and a mocha at Brick Lane after a very filling Shanghainese dinner. Adding some nail fun with my new American Apparel nail polishes to kick off those cold winter days. Love the golden “Meteor Shower” glitter nail polish!

Walked passed Harvey Nichols whilst taking a walk during lunch hours, and was in love with this gorgeous giant Miss Dior perfume shown on their window display. Stocked up on some crafty decorative tapes to add onto my stationary collection. Finally got my lovely and fave Chloe eau de parfum back in my perfume collection and oh my, how i have missed you sooo dearly. You will always be my fave.

Last min shopping spree and got this golden snake necklace and leopard peplum top for my company annual safari themed dinner party, where i was MC’ing away in Ms. Leopard style. Received these ever as cute flower balloons from a colleague who was leaving our company, such a sweet gesture. Celebrated a good old friend’s belated 30th birthday and enjoyed a “Fallen Angel Chocolate Bath” dessert, which was a chocolate cake with whipped cream and a shot of espresso to pour over it, super delish!

I am blessed for each and every day that was filled with love, fun, laughters, and sharing special moments with people i love and care for. You are my January Love 2013.

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Singapore – a weekend get away

As you all may know from my previous post, i went to Singapore for a weekend trip with my family. My lovely sister from London was in town for a visit so it was perfect timing! I had never been to Singapore so i was actually really thrilled about this trip and what’s more was that, my sister and I had planned to throw my mom a surprise birthday for her while we were there!

I have to say, i was quite pleased when we were greeted by sunshine and lovely weather upon arriving to Singapore, because the weather forecast had predicted rain and showers throughout the next few days. After passing thr0ugh a massive crowd at the immigration, we took the taxi to Traders Hotel to drop off our luggage and quickly got changed, and was ready to head out to discover the lovely city, Singapore! Oh and before i forget, the king size bed that my sister and i slept in was soooooooo comfortable, to the extent that it was extremely hard to get up every morning lol.

The lovely view outside our hotel room

King size bed for my sis and I

Our first stop was China town because being my typical mom, she wanted Chinese food and rice, the moment we landed. There’s nothing much to see in China Town and everything seemed closed as it was lunch hour when we arrived, which i found odd. For this reason, it was so hard to find a decent place that had decent Chinese food and my mom was complaining how it was worst than China! I found that super funny but I had to agree with her. In fact, the China Town in London is even better, as the restaurants are opened during day time with no lunch break (as far as i know anyway), and everything is within close walking distant. That’s the other thing about Singapore’s China Town, it’s quite big and there’s a lot of different streets to walk around to. But i still found it a great experience and memory to remember by.

China Town

There are numerous underground shopping malls in Singapore, and i’ve been told it’s to prevent people from heat exhaustion, as it gets very hot in Singapore, especially during summer time. My friend who lives in Singapore said that it can get up to 40 degrees Celsius during summer, which is way hotter than what we get here in Hong Kong.

The first underground shopping mall that we stumbled upon was Suntec City. It’s quite a big shopping mall with international and local designer brands. However, i was more distracted by food when i spotted a local bakery called “Bread Talk”. My mom went in to buy some bread, while i was snapping away and taking photos of some lovely Christmas themed pastries and cakes.

At the local bakery, Bread Talk

Festive Chrismas chocolate muffins

Chocolate donuts!!!

Delicious looking cakes

Festive Christmas cakes

One thing that i love to do is taking photos of random things that i like, at random moments. Such moment occurred when I passed by this shop and saw these super cute Japanese dolls. Don’t they just look so cute!?!?!? I’m also a big time chocoholic so i went all crazy when i saw this shop that was dedicated to Hershey’s chocolates!!!! I think any chocolate fan would die in there right away, lol.

Cute Japanese dolls on a window display

Hershey's Chocolate shop

Later that night we decided to go check out the Night Safari as i’ve had a lot of colleagues and friends suggesting to go there. Night Safari as you can imagine, is quite far away from the city and we had to take the local MRT train and a bus to get there. We tried to do all the things we wanted to as they close by mid night so our schedule was quite tight.

Night Safari Entrance

We saw the “Creatures of the Night Show”, which was more of a family show, if you ask me. But there was one incident that really made me laugh and freak out at the same time.They had an albino snake at one point and asked for a guy to come up for a challenge. They placed the albino snake onto the guy and then all the staffs walked away and turned off the stage lights. Of course, this was just for entertainment purposes, and they quickly went back to the guy. But the face on that guy was priceless!!! He looked super scared and i don’t blame him one bit.

"Creatures of the Night Show"

The Albino snake

We also managed to go on the tour buses to take a tour around the entire Night Safari and witnessed some of the night animals. As it was quite dark, i didn’t manage to take any good photos, so sorry!!!

One of the shows at Night Safari

After a fun Safari night we headed back to the city and to our surprise, all the restaurants in the nearby shopping mall was closed! It was only 10pm and that is considered early in Asia. As sad as it sounds, we ended up getting instant cup noodles, a loaf of bread, and chips in the supermarket, which was closing in 10 minutes! Yes, and i clearly enjoyed my cup noodle and chips when i got back to the hotel because i was starving!!!

And that is the update for now.  At the same time, I’m actually also sick with a throat infection and a nasty cold but i promise i’ll be back for my next blog post very soon!!!

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My birthday month – Sweet September baby!!!

Yes, and so it is. It’s that time of the year again where i look forward to celebrating my birthday with close loved ones and not to mention, a marathon of birthday lunches/dinners dates! I always enjoy just sitting down with my close friends and families to catch up over nice food and drinks,  and of course with the cake surprises that awaits me,  as  my friends all know how much i loveee surprises ( i like to give back surprises too so it’s a win win situation!!!).  In fact, i love surprises to the point that my sister don’t get it and finds it lame, lol.

However, this year is not quite the same fairytale and lets just say it’s down to some personal reasons, enough said. But i’ve decided to still enjoy it and try to embrace getting another year older, wiser, and of course, prettier, hehe.

I’ve also been having some major macarons craving these days and so today i decided on a last min impulse to check out this Che Che New York place that i’ve walked past a few times, where they serve some delicate looking macarons and chocolate. In a way, it’s also a little pre-birthday luxury treat for myself, hehe. They have some really interesting and cute types of chocolate such as wafer roll, chocaron,  chocolate lollipop, chocolate bar, and praline. My favorite must be the chocaron and you are probably wonder what that is. I guess the name itself is pretty self explanatory but basically it’s a combo between chocolate and macaron, and i love the idea!!

Here is a photo of their lovely selections of chocarons at their shop.

Che Che New York Take Away Menu

I ended up buying a box of 6 macarons for HK$98 and the flavors were  blueberry, passion fruit, green tea, green apple, and fig. I’ve eaten 3 of them so far and again, they were too hard! I tried the fig and green apple and the flavor was nothing like it but nonetheless, it was still yummy,lol. To be honest, the macarons were not the best and i ‘ve definitely tried better ones.  I guess the reason why i’m having problems finding really truly delicious macarons over here is because i keep comparing it to the ones i tried in Paris at Laduree! I wonder if i will ever find a place that makes macarons over here just as good as Laduree. That would be a dream come true! But i do like how the macarons from Che Che New York are 2 colored, it’s just soo colorful and makes it that much more prettier to look it!

Apart from macarons and chocolates, Che Che New York also sells handbags and other accessories, and their products are definitely more on the cutesy side. They was founded in 2000 and have shops across Asia Pacific, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore, and you can find more info about them here. I found these coin purses on their website and they are so cute that i just had to share them with you all!!!

Che Che New York Coin Purses

So tell me, have you ever tried macarons before and if so, what do you think of them?

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