Sunday, June 28, 2009

Black or White

re-org my nail polish stash last nite
mama screamed when she finally realised tat i hv a lot of bottles
*sigh*
so now, i wont b getting new polishes for e time being
but e nail art continues!!

kekeke... & i finally hv my own nail toolbox
& e toolbox is in one of my fav colours too!! =)
all my nail art materials are now all "under 1 roof"
quite pleased with tis toolbox!

todae's nail art is my own tribute to Michael Jackson
when mama called on friday morn to tell me tat he passed away
i still thot tat she was joking with me

its not tat i'm a MJ fan
sure i lk some of his songs
& wld read abt e latest news & gossip abt him
*sometimes getting really amused by it all*

but its tat e passing of an icon lk him is unexpected, shocking & a tragedy

based todae's nail art on one of MJ's songs: Black or White
black & white are colours of mourning
black is a colour tat i associate with rock star cool
& well... black & white is also another way i remember MJ (his dramatic skin colour chg)

a swatch of OPI A36 Happy Anniversary 1st
tis is 2 coats
a very sheer colour
nt likely tat i will wear tis colour on its own
its more a polish to layer with

& tis is my nail art for todae,
using
OPI A36 Happy Anniversary (bottom colour)
Faceshop BK901 (middle greyish tone with glitter)
TINS 025 the Saturn
black rhinestones in various sizes
& silver metal beads

hope it'll last thru e H1N1 screening procedures tmr in sch
*sigh... hv to b in full protective gear tmr since i'm in-charge of taking temperatures*

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Craving for Latte

had an interview with my boss's boss on fri
so no choice, had to chg to a more sedate mani-pedi
sigh!
tat's wat happens when u work somewhere conservative

1st up, swatch of OPI S61 Los Angeles Latte
taken under florescent light at nite

initally i was a little hesitant to get tis colour
it looked quite blah in e bottle
& i was worried tat it mgt nt suit my skin tone
but now i'm glad i didnt give it a miss

imagine milk chocolate colour
then add in a tint of red shimmer
tat's wat e final colour on my nail looked lk

kekeke... decided to try out tis colour cos it looked sedate
& cos i was having a late nite craving for coffee tat i cldnt satisfy!

& tis is e final nail art design tat i sported over e past 2 days
1st pic is taken in sunlight
nxt pic is taken at night immediately after completing e mani (tink u cn see e red shimmer betta in tis pic)

using
OPI S61 Los Angeles Latte
TINS 406 Passionate Ruby
cheap $1 nail art white lacquer tat my mama bought 4 me
orange & pink rhinestones

unfortunately e mani didnt last long tis time round
nt sure if its cos i didnt mix e eproxy glue well
but e rhinestones started falling off e nxt day after i did e mani!
& tis has never happened b4 until tis time

then i hv new loots to show as well
tis set of OPIs came in e mail on wed
S39 What's Dune?
S38 Day at the Peach
S37 Coral Reef

then tis set of TINS & nail accessories came in e mail today
025 the Saturn
006 the Amethyst
070 the Starlets
026 the Mars
005 the Aquamarine
a bottle of red glitter nail art lacquer (FOC)
black rhinestone (FOC)
purple metal beads (FOC)
& a wheel of teardrop shaped rhinestones

then as usual, my sat after pole shopping hauls
went to Fave Nails again at Cityhall & OUB Centre
OPI HL760 Celeb Sparkle
OPI HL757 Twinkling Lights (only bottle left)
Misa TA05 Sepia Stained Cotton
Misa VA03 Foxy & Folksy

& a batch of hair accessories
left side from Evita Peroni
right side from Chomel

all rite
gotta go re-org my nail polishes
too many liao!
& my ma managed to dig out 2 boxes for me
*kena nagged by her todae abt my nail polishes again*

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beijing Day 6 Part 2: Yuan Ming Yuan

ok, here comes e exciting bit of day 6
LUNCH!

another recommendation from Gerry's fren
& she had really good recommendations & directions for us!!

hua jia yi yuan
*its actually in both e lonely planets & e frommer's guidebooks*

Dongcheng
235 Dong Zhi Men Nei Da Jie
(aka Gui Jie)

tis restaurant is actually located in a restored courtyard house
traditional looking & very pretty!
& on e day tat we went, there was a 20% discount promo gg on! =)

i fell in love with e tea tat we ordered!

its called e Jin Lian Hua tea
if i were to do a literal translation, it means Golden Lotus tea
*but dun tink its lotus flower in there lah*

e waitress told us tat its supposed to hv colling properties

well,its e prettiest tea tat i ever drank
i took countless shots of e tea
kekeke.... even attempted an artistic shot of it

ok here's wat we ordered:

tis one here is ba wang ji
basically its steamed chicken in their version of curry sauce
e least yummy & exciting of all e dishes for tis meal
*we were saying tat we shld hv tried another chicken dish instead*

then we had chinese lettuce
at least, tat's wat i tink is e english name of e veg
i learnt all e veg names from my ma
& they're all in mandarin lah
so i aint very gd with matching veg to their english/western names =P

then brocoli *AHA! tis is one veg tat i know for sure!*
with fish maw

gerry also ordered some steamed egg with foie gras
i'm not a fan of liver of any sort, so skipped tis
but it looked really pretty!

then we were greedy enuff to order both desert
& kau di gua (roasted sweet potato) as well!!
i luv e kau di gua in beijing!
so sweet & yummy!!

then e other desert we had
i'm not sure wat its even called
but if u ever order it, pls do eat it with e plum leaf tat it comes with
enhances e taste very well!!

*kekeke... play mobile at photo shoot again!*

after lunch we headed for Yuan Ming Yuan
aka Old Summer Palace

emperor Qianlong had intended for tis to b a European-style garden
so dun expect e usual pagodas, pavilions & stuff
instead e old summer palace is in reality a ruins garden

e old summer palace comprises of 3 separate imperial gardens
gerry & were so tired & bothered by e hot sun
we caved & travelled along in these trams

couple of ruins were note-worthy
e.g. there was one of a mosque tat was built for e emperor's muslim concubine
*& i dun tink e emperor converted to Islam*

then tis pic is one of e ruins of a grand fountain which once had sculptures of e 12 heads of e animals in e chinese zodiac
apparently some were looted off by invading armies
e chinese govt managed to recover some
*gerry & i wondered if a certain sculpture involved in a furore over an unpaid auction mgt hv belonged here in ancient history*

honestly, i was disappointed with e old summer palace
i mean, sure i knew it was a ruins garden b4 gg
*since i read parts of e guidebooks*
but i had high expectations after e new summer palace

but its lk some desolate ghost town lor!
& nothing much exciting as well
according to some signage,
there was supposed to b a peony festival display somewhere
we walked & walked
BUT NO PEONIES!!
i ended up pretty frustrated =(

e only thg tat really impressed me there was tis wan hua zhen
literal translation: 10,000 flower maze
*no flowers thou*

its a restored labyrinth
& u hv to look closely at e carvings on e walls of e maze if u ever get there
its etched with e swastika sign all over

well, b4 u go all indignent n upset
note tat tis is a different swastika sign
e direction is different

in ancient chnese character,
tis symbol actually refers to e numeral quantity of wan or thousand
there's absolutely nothing sinister abt it at all k

well, fortunately dinner saved e day
*well, food was e exciting bits for day 6*
we ended up at Morel's based on recommendation from lonely planet tis time

actually we had intended to head somewhere else for dinner
but when we got there, e place had apparently closed down!
so ended up at Morel's
& had one of e best beef stew we ever tasted!

Morel's
Geng Ren Ti Yu Chang Bei Lu
(opposite north gate of e workers' stadium)
& very near our hotel

unfortunately, e owner has rules against taking photos
cos some bloke went to sabotage his menu prices online
so these were e only photos i managed b4 they stopped me

but seriously food was great & portions huge!
we shared btwn us:
complimentary bread - freshly baked, hot & absolutely delicious carbo
beef stew - delicious & tender
apple pie - i liked it but gerry found it a tad too sweet 4 her
& e world's no. 1 beer (forgot wat its called thou) - i'm not a beer drinker, but tis one sat well with me
*yeah... i'm still amazed tat we managed to lose weight after all e feasting*

Spree from Head2toebeauty

quick post

planning to spree soon from head2toe beauty
http://head2toebeauty.com/

hv never bought from tis site b4
but e gals over @ MUA seem to tink its ok
& i saw some polishes tat i wld lk to get my hands on in tat website

will prob order by 5 july (sun)
*kekeke... attempt to spread out e polish purchases*

exchange rate will b USD$1 : SGD$1.5
note 2 payments: 1st is for e polish only
then i will update later on shipping costs
any refund or top-up, i will alert as well =)

NOTE:
e polishes will b as per cost X exchange rate
but i will b imposing a small charge of $3 per order
tis is on top of postage (aka e stamps if i'm mailing out ur order to u)


its not intended as profits
but as administrative & material charges
cos i realised tat i need to cover costs like envelopes, tape & stuff lk tat k =)

so calculation will b: total polish cost in USD X 1.5 + SGD$3

so those interested,
pls let me know latest by 1 july (wed)
payment in latest by 3 july (fri)
*need time to consolidate lah*

happy shopping! =)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beijing Day 6 Part 1: Yong He Lamastry & Bell Tower

day 6 was a little disappointing after all e highlights from day 4 & 5

1st stop of e day: Yong He Gong (Yong He Lamastry)
which means "e palace of peace & harmony"

according to lonely planet's guidebook (pg. 91),
tis is beijing's most magnificent Buddhist temple
& was "once the official residence of Count Yin Zhen who became an emperor in 1723 & traded up to e Forbidden City.
his name was changed to Yongzheng..."

tis one is a pic of a sculpture depicting ji le shi jie
bascially it refers to e place where one goes to in afterlife

there are 5 main halls
but e finale came at e last hall
which housed 1 of e biggest statues of e Maitreya Buddha (in Tibetan form) tat i've ever seen
(unfortunately, photos were not allowed in some areas & so i'm not able to show u e full splendor of e temple)

Gerry & i spent e morning touring e place
& doing our prayers there as well

well.... we weren't very gd with burning e incense lah...
mine actually caught fire, as in BIG fire
was kinda worried tat it'll burn off my hair or somethg

after that we took e public transport to Zhong Lou (Bell Tower)
actually our intention was to catch a performance at Gu Lou (Drum Tower)
which is directly opposite e Bell Tower

but unfortunately, e Drum Tower was under restoration & therefore closed
*tis pic of e drum tower was taken from across where e bell tower is*

so we ended up @ Bell Tower instead
again abundant steep stairs prevail
*there was actually a signage tat warned tat visitors with certain health prob wld b prohibited!!*

here's e huge bell

there's a legend abt tis bell:
apparently, when e emperor commissioned for tis bell to b built
all e bell-makers (is tat wat they're called??) came tog
but after many attempts, none were able to build one to size & satisfaction
there was a deadline given by which, if e bell is still not done,
e bell-makers wld all b in really serious trouble

unfortunately, on e last day of e given deadline
e bell was still not built & they were down to e last resources avail

e chief bell-maker knew tat it wld still nt b possible to build e bell
but went ahead using e last of e raw materials

jus as e imperial entourage was about to come to inspect e bell,
e chief bell-maker's daughter distracted them
& threw herself into the furnance
chief bell-maker attempted to catch his daughter
but was only left with her embroidered shoe

despite his grief,
he knew tat his daughter's sacrifice was nt in vain
e bell was finally made
& all e bell-makers were safe

apparently, somewhere in Beijing, in some hutong,
there's a temple tat is dedicated to e bell-maker's daughter as well!!

another thg tat struck me when at Bell Tower
e ancient Chinese ppl actually managed to built all their significant structures in a straight line

here's a bit of feng shui trivia
if u ever get ur hands on a map of beijing,
u will realise that e Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Forbidden City & a couple of other structures tat are all in a straight line
& e locals call this e dragon's line; there's a dragon head, e body & e tail

actually, i wasnt very much impressed with e bell tower
tink if we had known tat e drum tower was closed
then we prob wld hv skipped tis spot totally

anyway e more exciting bits wld b coming up in part 2
*& its not even abt e sites of attraction!!*

Darn... Polish restriction busted...

i know i posted abt restricting myself to 20 polishes a mth
*& tat was only like a few days ago....*

hauled in more stuff
& i hv pending orders coming in as well lor...
as usual, polishes name in order from left to right

got these last nite
yoga class was at 8:30 pm
so i walked ard BHG @ Bugis Junction
& saw these on promo

Voxy nail polishes (some didnt hv e no.s on their stickers):
067 Cosmic Emerald

Dancing Fairies

Mystique

Blessed

VR02-41 Twilight Zone

in e past, i was curious abt voxy polish
but always thot tat it was really ex for a small bottle
usual price is $16.50 for a 0.46 oz bottle k!

but yesterdae, promo was buy 3 get 2 free
so i took e opportunity to grab 5 to try out

then walked ard somemore
& i saw L.A Girl!!

never realised tat we actually had L.A. Girl in sg until yesterdae
& it was on sale too!!
but only limited collection of colours thou

287 Metallic Purple

286 Metallic Green

284 Metallic Silver

288 Metallic Blue

320 Teal Shimmer

NL200 Amethyst

then i got these loots from my supplier todae

personal stash:
B53 Hey! Get in Lime

D28 Sea? I Told You!

B70 Dating a Royal

B60 Light my Sapphire

W27-EU International Dateline

S61 Los Angeles Latte

Holiday in Toyland Minis - Glamour Game, Brand New Skates, Little Red Wagon & Don't Toy with Me

& a wheel of pearls

hauls for esther
OPI Original Nail Envy

SR 2L5 Glim Merry Gold Glitter Topcoat

R44 Princesses Rule!

B56 Mod About You

L00 Alphine Snow

for another customer, Ch
SR 8F9 Pink of Hearts 2

H27 Oh so Glam!

D01 Lincoln Park At Midnight



*sigh*
hv TINS coming in hopefully by tis week
got an order of Misa, Orly & OPI pending with another fren
testing another batch of OPIs & Orlys from a new US supplier
& i'm waiting for e Nubar Going Green collection to reach yet another new US supplier

drats.... tat's way over 20 bottles!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beijing Day 5: Mu Tian Yu & 789 Art District

ok, there is still day 4 part 2 tat i hvnt blogged abt

but as mentioned in previous post
my camera died cos i forgot to charge e batt

pics of day 4 part 2 are with Gerry dear
so i'll continue with day 5 1st
& will come back to day 4 part 2 when Gerry passes me e pics

day 5,

on e way to e Great Wall of China
aka wan li chang chen

earlier we had already booked a car thru Gerry's fren to get us to e Great Wall
but we never expected to get driven in a limo!!

& we paid e price tat we hv paid if we hv booked a cab!!

wahahaha....

arrival at e foot of mu tian yu

e Great Wall is so huge tat its been divided into various sections
so when in beijing, if u hear ba da ling, si ma tai, jing shan ling, mu tian yu, these are jus names of e various sections of e Great Wall

ba da ling is prob e most commercialised among all e various sections
& prob one of e most visited by tour grps
according to Frommer's 2008 guidebook (pg 133),
there's even a KFC & a starbucks!!

well, Gerry & I hv an aversion to great hordes of ppl
& we rather hv a feel of e more au natural version of e Great Wall
if nt for my damn knee we prob mgt hv opted for si ma tai
which according to e guidebooks, is one of e most rugged & unrestored sections

instead we headed for mu tian yu
which is totally breath-taking

from e foot,
we had to take tis cable car up

at 1st we were still tinking tat we wld b climbing up e hill
until we were told by e ticket operator tat it wld more than an hr...

& according to Fodor's 2007 beijing guidebook (pg. 215)
apparently, former US President Bill Clinton ascended tis way as well in his 1998 visit!!

& ahem, to b honest,
i was kinda scared when i took e cable car
it was so open - a bench & a metal rail in front
then i was wearing my tatami
so i was terrified tat they'll drop below & b lost forever in e hill!!

heehee... i took tis shot of my much beloved tatami
jus in case i had to mourn its demise =P

kekeke.... coming down was a lot more fun
we took tis german-built toboggan ride
basically its tis open car thg tat runs along a metal slide
well, e cars dun really allow u to go too fast
*i'm a speed demon*
but it was still fun
unfortunately, there was no way i cld take a pic of e toboggan ride

mu tian yu is absolutely breath-taking
i took tons & tons of photos

well... i'll jus let e photos do e talking here =)

*man... i wld luv to hv such views to wake up to every morning...*





then they had tis salute to Chairman Mao Ze Dong hacked into e peak of one of those hills...


Mu Tian Yu is jus slightly further from beijing as compared to ba da ling,
& much nearer compared to e other sections

Mu Tian Yu was restored in 1986,
& is approx 2250 m long

Fodor's guidebook again (pg 215),
"... e great Wall @ Mu Tian Yu is more spectacular &, despite e occasional annoyances of sovenir stands, significantly less crowded. Tis long section of wall, 1st built during the Northern Qi dynasty (6th century) & restored & rebuilt thru-out history, cn offer a solitary Great Wall experience, with unforgettable views of towers winding across mtns & woodlands. On a clear day, u'll swear u cn see e deserts of Mongolia in e dist."

a word of caution to those eldery, with young children, hv difficulty walking
e stairs along parts of e Great Wall cn b quite crazy

along we way,
we spotted a couple of tourist who bought walking sticks

but seriously, e Great Wall mgt b a test of endurance for some
its a LOT of stairs
& i really mean A LOT

*overheard tis family complaining of jelly legs*

then parts of these stairs are at monster angles

jus chk out my pics
those where u see a sudden drop are actually stairs leading down
i tink some are at crazy angles of 70 degrees!!

in certain sections, its so incredible
i had to hang onto to rails at e sides
since i didnt want to fall another time
& cause greater damage to an already damaged knee




Gerry & i spent abt 3 hrs climbing e Great Wall
& we didnt even manage to get to cover e entire Mu Tian Yu Section!!

Another caution,
u mgt wanna bring tons of sunblock or wear somethg long sleeved & cool
sun cn b incredible here
i got burnt despite putting on sunblock

after Great Wall, we headed off to e 798 Art District

actually we had planned to visit e Ming Tombs
but was warned by Gerry's fren tat actually there isnt anythg much to see over at Ming Tombs

instead she recommended e 798 Art District
on e way there i devoured my entire bag of roasted chestnuts bought e nite b4
incredibly hungry after e Great Wall experience
like how i feel sometimes after my pole workout!!

so 1st thg we did when we arrived there was to find lunch
our driver gave us only a couple of hrs
so we didnt exactly spend too much time over lunch
& besides there was only a few choices

we ordered a pizza to share
pizza was ok, but cld do betta on its sauce

kekeke.... Gerry brought along her play mobil for photo shoot

e orange juice was one of e best tat i ever had

one of e many exhibits over @ 798

couple of interesting stuff there


but tis tree was by far e one tat i liked e most outta everythg else

so pretty!!

chk out tis poster
i was really amused by it =)

but i tink we were both too bothered by e sun tat day to fully appreciate e 789 Art District
we were jus too hot
& pretty tired actually

if u're e kind who doesnt appreciate art exhibitions & stuff like tat
then i suggest u skip tis place

thk god we didnt hv anythg else planned for e day
after 798, we headed straight for our nxt hotel - A. Hotel
*yep! tat's its name!*

quite interesting loh!
its a hotel tat's built right into a stadium!!

n we loved e room decor too!


rested in e hotel for a while
b4 we headed out again for dinner

Da Tong Restaurant


well, we didnt expect e restaurant to b so high-class

there were many who were decked out in proper attire, even business suits
i felt a bit out of sorts wearing only a tee & shorts

amp; Da Tong restaurant also won an award for best dining as well

upon entering, u'll see e many chefs dealing with e huge stoves & roast duck

but e food was really really gd!
& their presentation lovely as well!

worked up an apetite tat day
*even Gerry commented tat i ate a lot tat nite*

boiled cabbage

loved e brinjal!!
Gerry gave up with tis after a while
but i gobbled it all up =P

prawns with preserved vege

prawns were fresh
but i felt tat tis was e least exciting of all our dishes

tis one wins e prize for one of e most artistically presented dishes i've ever seen

it looks like some winter scene

but its actually fish & preserved vege,

wrapped in lotus leaf
& baked in salt!!

kekeke... our fish also got a lot of stares & whispers from other diners who were curious to find out wat it was when e waitress came to unveil it

really yummy fish too!!


then we had another round of peking duck

tis time round we only ordered half a bird

i know its still a lot of food for 2 girls
like i said, we pigged out during tis trip

=P
compared to e earlier Li Qun Roast Duck

both are really gd peking duck
perhaps one of e best i've ever tasted

Da Tong's has a "more expensive" taste
& i tink its cos of e many condiments tat came with it

e garlic sauce kinda enhanced e taste as well

while Li Qun is a more traditional taste
simple but gd

dunno if tis makes sense to u readers
but i hv no idea how else to describe e diff btwn e 2

then we were presented with complimentary fruits

which came along with dry ice!!

i was too stuffed by tat time,
so cld only manage e cherry,
which was a little sour

but Gerry said e other fruits were really sweet,

by e time we ended our huge meal,
was pretty late
of cos, needless to say
we were tired, but happy & full =)

 

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