My Highlights on Singapore’s First Artbox

It might be a bit too late now since the Artbox frenzy is sort of over but I visited the flea market twice two weekends ago so I thought I better write an in-depth post about my experience. Haha.

What is Artbox?

Artbox is a pop up creative flea market famous for having its stores in giant shipping containers. The market had its fame in Thailand and finally, two weeks ago, made its debut in Singapore.

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My Top 10 Favourite Eats in Vancouver

Being a foodie who is always on the hunt for good food, I thought I’d share my top 10 favourite eats in Vancouver! This is also for a good friend of mine who is visiting real soon… 😉

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Seattle Trip!

So during my birthday weekend, Mel and I went to Seattle! It was really nice to be away for a while, it felt like forever since I last had my break.

So here’s how I spent my 2 days in Seattle. This post might be useful if you’re a foodie thinking of taking a short trip down to the Emerald City or if you’re just a very curious cat.

Day 1

We didn’t sleep on the bus and were glued to our phone for most time. Well, I certainly couldn’t help it with the free wifi on the bus. I did try watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind though but couldn’t get myself to complete it. I.will.try.again.tomorrow.

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The first thing we did upon arriving was head to the Crumpet Shop for their famous and delicious crumpets. The line was crazy – But on Saturdays like then, the line was crazy everywhere. I guess weekend isn’t really a good time to be in Seattle. I was literally in line for every food I craved for at Pike Place Market.

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We ordered a plain crumpet with chocolate hazelnut. It was sinfully delicious.

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Then queued for Piroshky Piroshky. Their salmon pate is the best thing ever and right now, my mouth is watering as I write this.

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A lot of eating as usual. We visited Jack’s Fish Spot and had their famous fish and chips and oysters.

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We walked around Macy after because

  1. Vancouver doesn’t have Macy
  2. It would be insane to go for another bite after having so much food at Pike Place.
  3. We are going to Cheesecake Factory for another huge meal.

Shopping is becoming a very boring activity for me. Macy has nothing much to offer as well. Either that or shopping has completely turned me off…? Maybe it’s an age thing? You get wiser and realized that shopping for something completely useless is indeed very meaningless and redundant? Hmm…

Anyway, I thought the trees outside Pacific Place were such a beauty.

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Asked Mel to pose so I can improve my photography skills. Not too bad eh?

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After walking for several hours, we finally headed to the Cheesecake Factory!

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Cheesecake Factory was as usual crazy crowded. We were finally seated at 9PM – a very ungodly hour for dinner – especially for a health freak like me… But it was my birthday and I thought screw eating clean and calories counting!

We ordered my usual favourite, Chinese Chicken Salad and their Alfredo pasta which Mel was craving for.

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Then as though they weren’t filling enough, we ordered a slice of cookie-dough cheesecake.

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Trust me, it is as it delicious as it looks. 

I returned to the hotel with an almost exploding stomach. I almost threw up.

Day 2

Thank God for speedy metabolism because day 2 was another foodie trip. Chaiyo was our next food destination.

Located at Northgate, Chaiyo has been one of my must-go places whenever I’m in Seattle. I was first introduced to this thai restaurant by a friend and constantly heard ravings for their thai food – which I have to agree, are spicy enough for my Indonesian tongue.

We ordered a variety but my favourite is their Guay Tiew Lord. At Chaiyo, you get to pick how spicy you want your food to be. We had all for medium since Mel isn’t really a spicy eater.

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After, we drove down to get my Avocado plus chocolate drizzle drink at Tapioca Express.

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I love this drink because they don’t have it in Vancouver. I visited their location here in Richmond and when I requested for this heaven-knows-how-good-yet-so-sinful drink, the man at the counter looked at me as though I was speaking in alien.

Btw, considering that I’m kinda a newbie driver, I’m very impressed at myself and how I managed to drive around Washington safely.

Though I have to say driving around Seattle downtown was really stressful. For instance, we couldn’t visit the Olympic Sculpture Park in the morning because we couldn’t find a parking and I have wasted like 40 minutes driving around the park. We finally returned to the park in the evening, after returning the rented car. Kinda glad I let my stubborn self go – otherwise we’d probably be wasting hours and wouldn’t be able to cover so much.

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I love how peaceful this man is despite being humongous. It’s like he doesn’t give a damn about the world and how his neck is rooted to the ground. Yes, I’m staring at him and thinking that I should be like him. My feet are like his neck, and I should walk with my head held high and perhaps, be very very simple minded. Which is hard. You know how hard it is if you are like me, a very very deep thinker. 

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The last time I visited the park was 4 years ago (I think). Cousin G was still in Seattle then and in the evening, we took her dog, Noah for a walk around the park. The park does bring back fond memories. Brb as I be #emotional.

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Cousin G and I trying to get Noah, her dog, to look at the camera. 

While every road trip / travel has been real fun and eye-opening, this trip is especially unforgettable because:

  1. I drove in and outside Seattle!!!!
  2. I’ve felt very independent
  3. I covered places outside Seattle that I thought I wouldn’t be able to without a friend who is familiar with the city or who is more street smart
  4. I feel like I’m confident enough to drive in LA now (Now, please trust me. I’d be your safest driver)

Sakura Days Japan Fair 2016

Out of curiosity and love for the Japanese culture (more like Japanese food), I dragged Mel to the Sakura Days Japan Fair held at VanDusen Botanical Garden. There were a lot of happenings at the fair but we were mostly interested in two things: food & beautiful flowers.

The entrance fee to the two-day fair was supposed to cost us about $12 each (early-bird fees) but there was a glitch with their system so they apologetically offered us free tickets. Yay!

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Food

It was definitely a waiting game for both of us. Almost every stall has a 20 to 30 minute waiting time and we lined up basically for everything from my matcha tea to 6 skewers.

Ichiyo Matcha Bar was the first stall we visited and I was excitedly looking forward to. The Matcha lover in me silently screamed in delight and couldn’t wait to see what the fuss was all about. The Singaporean instinct in me also thought the wait must be worth it since the line snaked from the counter to the sitting area.

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Decision is especially hard when you see everything Matcha. I really need. to. visit. Japan.

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Finally decided on half-sweet, iced matcha tea since I was still battling with cold.

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After, it was another 20 minute of wait for a Mogu burger but time passes so quickly when you have someone to chit-chat with!

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An upside down Ebi Burger.

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I simply cannot resist grilled skewers, no matter how sick I am…

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6 skewers for $5. Pricey but pretty filling.

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Hurricane Potato was next. Felt like one stick wasn’t enough.

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Other things. Besides. Food:

Curious human beings crowding vendors selling Japanese accessories.

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Oops. Sorry. I think it’s really hard to keep myself away from food. I spotted my favourite chocolate store, Coconama.

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Watched visitors playing Kendama.

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So attracted to these accessories but resisted from buying them as I’m trying to lead a very minimalistic lifestyle. These would probably be something I toss away in a couple of months…

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There were no cherry blossoms in sight. It’s probably isn’t the season yet. However, it was still satisfying to view a large selection of plants and capture them with my camera.

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We were being silly (my idea) and tried a few jump shots but all turned out pretty unglamorous.

Fortunately, this random, unintended shot turned out well and happy!

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Will I go again?

Right now, maybe not unless my friends really want to go (I’m really a pushover, sigh).

No because:

The fair was fairly crowded for someone who tries her best to avoid crowds.

It turned out Coconama was more expensive at the fair. I passed by a Japanese Store yesterday and the heavenly chocolates I bought at the fair was sooo much cheaper there. Quite disheartening!

I wasn’t interested in the tea ceremony, calligraphy, or wearing a yukata (Japanese Kimono) that day. The line was unbearably long, and with the sweltering weather and my lingering cold, we didn’t think they were worth the wait.

But again, maybe yes because:

They have a good selection of Matcha.

I seriously can’t resist Japanese food!

I didn’t get to attend the tea ceremony and play Kendama.

Someday, I might want to wear a yukata or even buy one.

My friends want to go.

 

 

Ambitious Kitchen’s Skinny Zucchini Muffins

Recently, I fell in love with Ambitious Kitchen’s recipes. Her recipes are easy to follow, use simple ingredients and best of all, taste super delicious! So far, I’ve tried cooking up her

Skinny Zucchini Muffins (which I’ll be writing about today)

Spicy Thai Chicken Peanut Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry 

Skillet Cheesy Chicken Rotini with Homemade Tomato Basil

And all of them are superb!

Two weeks ago, I whipped out her Skinny Zucchini Muffins and snapped some pictures to note my journey of making those delicious muffins.

The ingredients are simple. Though it would be much healthier if I had used organic/ low-fat chocolate chips… but I wanted to make do with whatever I have in my kitchen…so Kirkland it is!

I used organic Zucchini and substituted  the whole wheat flour with pure almond flour – which the latter turned out to be a delicious disaster – I’ll explain why later.

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I was so excited that I was using almond flour that I took a picture of it! It turned out to be a beautiful mess like how Jason Mraz would have sang it. lol.

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Anyway, I shredded the Zucchini first just because it was the most cumbersome thing to do.

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Next, I squeezed the shredded Zucchini with paper towel as AK mentioned that it is a very important step…

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Mixed the almond flour with baking powder and baking soda as per instructed…

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Used my favourite local honey from Maple & 36th for this recipe!

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Slowly poured the honey into my bowl of wet ingredients. Btw, I used my two 3 month old frozen bananas for these muffins and they turned out to be the sweetest thing ever after chocolate!

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Made exactly 12 muffins BUT they were super super moist. -Yes the almond flour made them really moist and this is why these are indeed a delicious disaster!

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And here’s how my muffins turned out like… Shapeless, and really moist.

BUT, I LOVE THEM. They were so delicious! Oh, I sprinkled chocolate rice on the muffins just because I am a chocolate lover teehee.

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What I’ve learnt:

Never ever substitute whole wheat flour with pure almond flour. Always do a mixture of both.

Always double the chocolate chips to satisfy my sweet cravings. Unless, I’m on a sweet-restriction diet.

Also, when using almond flour, do not use greek yogurt and apple sauce and substitute milk with almond milk