Goodbye 2016.

I’m probably two days late in doing this 2016 round up thing cos everyone seems to have already posted theirs on the last day of 2016 haha.

2016 felt like an exceptionally long year for me. I guess it’s because a lot has happened in that year. For one, it is the year I left my first job after graduation, entered and withdrew from a PhD program, and got a new job. It really feels like so much change in just one year.

(photo heavy post ahead!)



Hello October. A little late though.

To be honest, life has not been very good. I thought this was what I wanted, but it doesn’t seem to be that way. Well, the problem is what do I even want? I am such an aimless, clueless soul :( And nobody likes people like that. Even I don’t.

I’ve felt quite unlike my usual self since everything started mid-August, especially in the first week. That week, I really felt like I was close to a mental breakdown or sinking into depression. It’s really not an exaggeration when I say I didn’t feel like eating, I didn’t feel like meeting or talking to anyone, I didn’t want to crossfit, I just wanted to lay in bed and sleep all day. Jokes that were funny to me were not funny anymore. It was so hard to even fake a smile but I tried anyway. Every little thing made me cry. I cried every day. I just felt like disappearing.

Well, things are slightly better now. I still feel like crying occasionally. It’s still stressful as hell, but I’ve learnt to take things easier. I’ve learnt to “heck care” whatever I can. But as I tell anyone who asks me to take a chill pill, it’s not that easy. Believe me I am trying, but even doing the bare minimum requires a hell lot of effort (that feels beyond me at times).

Everyone around me seems to be coping well in classes. But perhaps they are struggling too I don’t know. Even so, at least they are able to show their competency in class, in front of the profs. But not me :( I try sometimes but it’s hard. For some courses, I don’t even understand the material… I don’t know how people get it.

This is very very very different from the school and work life that I’ve known. I am really being pushed to my limits, and beyond. They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone, but I’m not sure if that’s my case now. I don’t exactly have a life.

Many questions swim around in my head every day – why I took this up, whether I’ll stay, whether it’s worth it, whether it’s right for me, whether I really want it and why, what do I want in life. These are actually – believe it or not – hard questions for me. I struggle to find answers. Yet they are really important; how I answer these questions will lead me to a decision, and some consequences attached to it. But either way, I’m not sure I can handle the consequences. It’s like a war in my head every day :(


It’s about 2 weeks till the start of school. But since about 2 weeks ago, I’ve already been making several trips down to SMU for various reasons. I’ve also started to receive “important” school-related mail from the faculty, which just adds to the reality that school is *really* starting now.

The frequent trips to school and the emails are – to be honest – stressing me out a lot. I know I’ve been wanting to go back to school for the longest time. But now that it’s happening, I sometimes doubt if it is the right choice? Perhaps it’s the program I’m in; it’s a rather unfamiliar field to me though it bears links to some areas of psychology (which I took as an undergrad).

I guess it’s also the level of qualification I would be graduating with. It’s not just Masters, but a PhD. In other words, it’s a research program. I am expected to be an academic or at the very least an independent researcher with an inquisitive mind, or a wealth of knowledge on a particular specialty area. And the program is training you for that right from the very start; so I feel like I am expected to already have a research interest that I want to pursue in the upcoming 4 years. One of the first questions that everyone – faculty members and students – asks is “What is your research interest?”.

The biggest problem here is, I really suck at critical thinking and asking questions; and I don’t feel like someone who can really be super passionate about something and be curious enough to keep finding out more. I feel like I’m more of someone who is just easily interested in… everything; whatever is new to me, I take an interest. How long that interest would last, or whether it would turn into something I’m passionate about is really questionable. This “trait” of mine (or whatever it should be called) is really not beneficial at all to this PhD journey that I will be embarking on; especially when I’m doing the program in an area that is not particularly familiar to me. How do I find an area of interest for research when I’m such a greenhorn and don’t exactly have the most curious mind (that researchers should have) around?

Of course with all these stress, I have doubted my acceptance into the program. Actually, even before all these; the moment I received my news of acceptance, I doubted. What the hell right haha, but seriously.

Some background on why I applied – It’s simple really; not any fanciful story about how I was soooo passionate about the field. I was just.. interested. My friend was the one who introduced this program to me, so I read up a bit and thought it sounded good, then went for it.

Anyway, my friend was also planning to apply for it for admission in the same academic year. Honestly, she had a much much better chance of getting accepted into the program. Her uni grades were top notch, and she graduated with her thesis in a very similar area to this program. She then continued working as an RA after graduation for her thesis supervisor, who knew profs in the faculty of this program and has name dropped her. Therefore, she has much experience and knowledge in this field, and at least one pretty strong recommendation! (We need 3 recommendation letters for this program application)

I on the other hand, had not as good grades (though still pretty decent), a thesis in a totally unrelated area and worked in an unrelated job. Heck, I didn’t even have a clear research interest (actually not even now)! My interview skills are like sh*t too (there are 2-3 interviews to get through. I had 2). Furthermore, in our personal statement (part of the application too), we also had to talk about our research interest a little cos we had to indicate which profs we may wanna work with and why; I just smoked my way through with a really short para (while my friend probably wrote a pretty decent idea of what she wanted cos of her experience in the field).

Oh, and the best part? My friend (one year my junior) and I graduated from the SAME MAJOR, SAME SCHOOL. What are the odds of a Singapore PhD program accepting TWO Singaporean students with such similar backgrounds?! (Just some clarification here – though same major, Psychology, we did our thesis in different areas of the subject. Hers is the one that is very closely tied to the PhD program subject).

So… how on earth did I even get accepted I really don’t know.  I kept wondering/telling myself that maybe it’s because they had lesser applicants this year… Or they made a mistake haha. Perhaps I was a “replacement” for someone who rejected the offer; who knows.

But nowadays, to make myself feel a bit better, I’m try to let go and let God. I tell myself that He has a plan for me – otherwise how could I have got in, against all odds (seemingly so to me)?? And perhaps He knew it was gonna be hard for me so he put a friend in the program with me too.. I guess I just have to really trust that He will help me through. I’m trying but it’s hard :( The stress and anxiety can really get to me, and all those thoughts that I’m just not good enough (e.g. ref above para).

(Ok I can’t really remember my main point of writing this post, or if I got out everything I wanted to say cos I had to go out in between and continue like hours later >< But I guess it’s more or less there; my current thoughts about going back to school… sigh)

Perth 2016

The first and only time (till now) I went to Australia was when I was 7, at the age where I really can’t remember much except that I went to Gold Coast and went to theme parks. So going to Australia again this time felt like quite a new experience for me!

Went to Perth with Ray from 27 Apr to 2 May, using the Labour day look weekend wisely :P We had an afternoon flight to Perth (which got delayed by 1 hour cos the pilot said he forgot to bring some “legal documents”), which arrived at the destination around 6:30pm. And on the last day, we caught a late afternoon flight back to SG. So spent a total of about 4.5 days and 5 nights there.

Shall not be blogging in detail for every day (like JB trip lol) cos I think that would be too long and tedious! So just some highlights of where we went and what we ate each day; just enough to remember this trip I guess! :D

(Btw I’m too lazy to filter the photos so just gonna post them as I took them #nofilter lol)


JB day trip! :D

Took leave on Wednesday (earlier this week) and went to JB with Xuely and Jon.


Gonna try to document as much as I can cos first ever time going there HAHA! We just kept eating (and walking). And it was really quite fun, esp with the company :) Though I kept getting judged by Jon the entire day tskkk. (Anny pls come back so you get judged instead T_T hahaha)

*Note: This post is really a long grandmother story lollol (~2000 words?!). I don’t even know if I will have the patience to read it myself all over again next time :X


Restaurant week: Pepenero

I randomly found this place from the list of restaurants participating in restaurant week. Sorted them by rating, then saw that this was quite ok priced with 4 stars. Menu looked not bad too cos there’s food that I would wanna try and can eat even on my lenten pescatarian diet! :D

So lunch today was a 3-course meal with Ray at S$33++ with choice of appetizer, main and dessert.

Funny how the dinner menu had the same food options but cost $55++ :O


Free bread before our food was served to us! Free flow hehehe :3

I usually don’t like this kinda french bread with the hard crust (think baguettes), but this one was quite good?

Think it’s cos it was toasted before serving to us so it was slightly warm, and the crust was not rly hard! It was quite soft and airy inside too :D

There were 3 options for appetizers:


Lobster bisque (above),


Crabcake (above),

And the last was a salad which obviously we did not choose haha.

For lobster bisque, would have preferred it with a thicker consistency! But otherwise I thought it had nice flavour. Super seafood-y :D And there were 2 really fresh prawns in it too ^^ (pic below)


Anyway, that’s the interior of the crabcake. Crab meat stuffing! It’s actually really nice cos it’s real crab and the crabcake was fried well; so crispy :D

For mains, we had the Linguine with lobster in arrabbiata sauce,


and Duck confit with black truffle sauce and mashed potatoes.


The last main option was a fish dish with Mediterranean sauce.

I actually chose the pasta over the fish even though I don’t really like tomato-based pastas.. cos I do prefer lobster over fish! Plus point is the pasta’s linguine which I kinda like too :)

And wow. No regrets with this tomato based pasta cos I actually liked the arrabbiata sauce? it was kinda like creamy tomato + teeny bit spicy. Pasta texture was good, lobster was great; tasted fresh!

I couldn’t taste the duck confit cos pescatarian, but I managed to try the mashed potatoes and the truffle sauce! They were so goooood ^^ Mashed potatoes were so creamy and the truffle taste was pretty distinct! I don’t care if it’s just truffle flavouring; it tasted awesome anyway :P hahaha.

And for desserts, there were only 2 options: Tiramisu and Lemon tart. So each of us chose a different one so we could try both! :D


The tiramisu was good but not great. I have tasted better.


But the lemon tart was delicious! Lemon curd was so tart and went so well with the crispy biscuit-y crust! I love lemon desserts and this was really good. Was telling Ray I could just keep eating this non-stop.. and just keep popping them into my mouth as an entire tart (it’s quite small) and eat them like snacks HAHA.

Overall, the experience was good :) And if i wanted some decent but not overly pricey Italian food, I think this place is not bad! Checked out the a la carte menu online and a pasta prolly costs about $20+ (exc. GST & service charge). There are mains that go up to $40+ (mostly the meats), and that’s the max I saw.

Anyway they do have set lunches on normal days out of restaurant week too. And it’s the same price @ $33++!

14 Stanley St, Singapore 068733


Otto Ristorante (boss’ treat!)

My boss brought me to Otto Ristorante for my lunch treat (cos of some good work done) :O I think it is pretty atas ^^”

There was a set lunch at $38++ which both of us got. It had appetizer, main & dessert + coffee/tea. He said I could choose an a la carte dish if i wanted; don’t have to get the set. But I think the set lunch is more worth it! I know it’s a treat, but still cannot be too much right…

On top of our set lunches, he wanted to order another appetizer to share. He asked the waitress to recommend and she said burrata cheese with parma ham; which I didn’t want cos it has ham! Cannot ruin my lent diet (pescatarian!) hehe.

I think my boss was a bit surprised I didn’t want it haha. I think he might have wanted to try that… oops ^^” And after that I thought it would mean no appetizer alr. But the waitress went on to recommend and eventually she mentioned a light appetizer with fish that thankfully was agreed on hahaha. Actually I really didn’t need another appetizer to share + didn’t want him to spend so much.. partly why I said no at first too. But since he wanted… ok then. I think the extra dish is at least $20+/30 man ><

(Pic from google)

This was the extra appetizer that we ordered! It doesn’t look exactly like the pic. But smth like that. Thinly sliced swordfish with some “sauce”. (don’t even know if the pic is swordfish heh)

The garnishes on ours were diff. Ours had strips of green and red (peppers & tomato??) haha. I honestly dno what it was garnished with. But some sort of veg I’m guessing!

It was really quite good tho I thought it was very salty when I first bit into it. I think it would have gone really well with the bread (below) tho! :D

(Pic from google)

This was the selection of (free) bread before any of the dishes were served. Reminded me of dining at Cut by Wolfgang Puck where a variety of bread was also presented to us to choose. Here, there was tomato, raisin, olive, foccacia and another type. I just took the olive one cos tbh couldn’t really decide haha.

Then our set lunch dishes arrived!

For appetizer, I had this ricotta cheese rolled up crepe thing filled with mushrooms; while my boss had a soup. My crepe was so rich and yummy?! So cheesey and the crepe was the kind that’s slightly crisp :D

Then for mains, boss got the pasta with arrabiata sauce while I got seared ling fish with green pea mash :) Fish was rly good!! A bit crisp outer layer but nice and soft inside ^^ And I think it is my first time trying green pea mash.. It was really creamy and smooth with quite strong pea taste (duh right haha)!! Not bad :) Nice dish overall!

And lastly, my atas looking dessert! So beautifully plated <3 they called it a vanilla parfait with etc etc (i forgot). All their dishes have such long names… either that or it’s in Italian haha.

But anyway, i figured that it’s a panna cotta. So milky and smooth! Actually the centre was a bit harder like ice-cream; but with the flavour, all’s good!

That pretty thing stuck on top of the panna cotta is a sugar structure. I tried to break it and some tiny bits flew off the plate O.O One bit even stuck to my hair… oops quite unglam. I think my boss laughed at me >< haha.

Anyway I only took a pic of the dessert cos a bit paiseh to take food pics like i usually do.. Everything also take heh :P Tbh my boss and I are really not that close at all! So I was actually feeling a bit awkward about having to go for this lunch treat. (He talked about it since last week. Then he asked me on Monday again but I had my own lunch; so he decided today.)

But I mustered up the courage (it’s really mustering up courage ok. Cos pple who take pics of food may be judged HAHA) to say i wanna take pic for dessert. Cos i guess it was pretty enough so it’s more justifiable haha. Then he also pushed his dessert (icecream) to me so i could take hahaha. I didn’t need to take his la. He could eat first. But since he pushed it away for me to take, why not hehe :X He still asked me if I was taking it together or individually. Then still asked if he needed to move some stuff away HAHA.

Then as we ate we talked. Mostly abt food; the kinds of food we liked etc. Then somewhere in the convo, boss said prolly won’t bring my other colleague (in the same team as us) to a place like this. Cos he prolly won’t appreciate the food as much hahahaha.

I mean this is not in a bad way la. Yknow how some pple are just not that particular about food such that food is just food, with some better than others that’s all.

I actually do agree w my boss; I think my colleague’s that kinda person :P But really, it’s not a good or bad thing. Some people just don’t take as much interest in food?

Then i thought: oops. Does that mean I give out quite atas vibes… or maybe I just come across as someone who appreciates good food la right heh :P

Was telling R about this atas vibes thing. And I said my mum ever told me I had some rich girl vibes. Then R said can understand why O.O OKAAYY haha. I was like then why no rich guys like me?! HAHAHA. He said cos my dressing cmi LOL. Which I don’t disagree cos I am really very lazy to dress up ^^” Eh I don’t even really like shopping for clothes! :P

CF log 17/02/16 (Wed)

Warm-up was foam rolling today. HOW SHIOK IS THAT HAHA. Fav kinda warm-up xD


6 rounds –
0:45 HSPU
0:15 rest
0:45 DUs
0:15 rest

Every 2:00 for 12:00 1 p clean + 1 push jerk + 1 (squat) clean + 1 push jerk
[37.7kg, 42.7kg, 45.2kg, 46.8kg, 51.8kg, 54.3kg, 56.8kg (missed last jerk)]


3 rounds –
10 DB clean to thrusters [(12.5kg)]
24 pistols

Sposed to be a 10:00 AMRAP, but coach said she knows some pple will slack so she made it 3 rounds hahahaha. She knows us well xD I think I took 1-2min more than 10min to finish this :P I thought the DB cleans were so awkward hahahah. Like my motion didn’t feel very smooth at all!

(read more for some bitching :P)


11 more months in 2016

It’s the end of Jan. Time flies; felt like just not too long ago we were all happy new year, looking back on 2015, and setting new year resolutions.

I have shared with one or two people, right from the beginning of this year (i.e. 1 Jan), that I was not looking forward to this new year at all. I think it’s safe to say that it is the first time in my life that I did not look forward to a new year :(

New years have always been exciting for me. I love the idea of new beginnings and starting over. I love the idea of having new opportunities and chances to change or do something new. Every new year just felt so… refreshing.

But this year, I really did not want 2016 to arrive. I foresee it to be a year of uncertainties; and I hate uncertainties. I thought it won’t be a good year at all, and how my Jan went has supported that statement – Jan has not been really great at all for me.

So much has happened in this first month. There have been family/relationship drama towards the end of Jan. And before that, my best workout partner left for France in the beginning of the month, so one less friend to hang out with for half of 2016 :( Work’s been busy, and I was stressing out over postgrad app.

Why I feel like the rest of 2016 will not be great at all

(WARNING: long, rambly, and incoherent post ahead)


Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant

Because Ray and I took leave today, we decided to go explore this new cafe that R’s friend recommended! It originated in New York and based on reviews, it is known for their pancakes and fried chicken (with waffles)! :D I looked at pictures on burpple and instagram and was really excited for it!! Hehehe ^^

Am dedicating a post to this place cos I thought it really served very very yummy food! And my main aim is to just wanna post up some pics of the food hehe :P Anyway I would totally go back there to try more of their food! Especially their dessert counter display which greeted me right at the entrance –


They had sweet scones, savoury scones, muffins, pies and cakes! YUMZZZ.

We were too full after our mains for any of these sweet treats ><

Shared three mains between the two of us :D


Top to bottom: Fried chicken with waffles, blueberry pancakes, eggs benedict. Shall describe the food in that order!

1) Fried chicken with waffles ($24++; only price of dish I remember haha)


The fried chicken had really crisp skin and yummy salty seasoning, which I loved! And WAFFLES + maple syrup?! I’m a sucker for sweet & savoury combi dishes hehehe ^^  But tbh, there are better waffles out there; though this was decent enough! After all, the star’s the fried chicken, which tasted good :D

2) PANCAKES with blueberries!


DAMN THESE PANCAKES WERE SOOOOO GOOOD!!! Seriously one of the best I have tasted and they really deserve their reputation and hype. Each piece was so thick and fluffy! And though it only came with maple syrup and no butter, the pancakes tasted as though they had the butter infused in them cos I could taste the buttery-ness of it! These are the pancakes I would totally dream of hahaha! And the blueberries; they went so well with this stack. I ate about two-thirds of it after eating half of each of the other mains LOL. I was full, but these were so good I could just keep going :P


Drowning in the maple syrup~ THAT PANCAKE FLUFF AND THICKNESS <3


YEAHHH I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THIS HEHEHE ^^ Thick pancakes! And btw from this you can see that there were blueberries even in the pancake itself! They were not just a topping! So it’s like blueberries in every mouthful of the yummy pancakes :D

3) Eggs Benedict


The best part of these eggs ben is that the poached eggs were on top of BISCUITS. Y’know like those from Popeyes’ – biscuits? Those yummy crumbly buttery things ^^ Biscuits instead of bread or the usual english muffin. Made this eggs ben totally worth it even though it’s not as hyped up as the other two dishes above. Totally deserves more recognition!

And of course, who could forget the flowy yolks on eggs bens? (sorry poor pic below cos screenshot from phone vid lol)


Eggs ben with the biscuit was unique and really yummy! Though the dish looked a bit small to me at first, it was definitely filling! Ray said it was cos the biscuit was huge (can’t really tell from pics I guess)!

Ok, to be fair, though I really liked the twist on the eggs ben, and the biscuit itself, Ray was not that big a fan. He thought the biscuits were too crumbly and dry haha. BUT THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE MY BISCUITS!! And I still think the whole dish went well together cos the egg yolk and hollandaise sauce could balance out the dryness of the biscuit for those who don’t really like “dry” stuff :P

Ultimately, this place is definitely worth a visit and I’m gonna remember it as one of my favourite food places/cafes! Anyway, though I forgot the prices of two of the mains, I know that our bill totaled to ~$70 nett for all three! I would willingly part with that amount of $$ for food quality like this ^^

Clinton St Bakery Company & Restaurant
31 Purvis Street Singapore 188608 (8-10 min walk from Bugis MRT)
Tel: +65 6684 4845 (no reservations, parties above 6 may be split up)
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm
(source: danielfooddiary)